Accessibility Technology

Making Peoplesoft Accessible at the University of Minnesota

Presenter: Hendrix Bodden from GreyHeller

Project Overview

  • Campus views Disability as Diversity
  • Large Peoplesoft installation
  • Self-service was not accessible, but required high customization
  • Upgrade: new version splitting CS/HR databases; accessibility came in at the end; modifying PS pages in-house to make accessible too expensive!
  • Deque provided accessibility assessments
  • Intrasee provided UX

Access & Accessibility: Details

  • Use cases (there were TONS on student and HR)
  • Test User accounts
  • Environments
  • Test data
  • Collaboration tools

Platform-wide accessibility

  • Interaction: all functionality available from keyboard
  • Optimized UX: easy to use
  • Full-featured: parity with desktop use.

Product Demonstration

  • Transformation of the HTML provided by the out of the box Peoplesoft pages (it looks sooo much nicer).
  • Ran the page on an iPad with VoiceOver – this was a powerful demonstration of the proper use of markup.


  • Plug-in to PeopleSoft environment (on the PS web server)
  • Inherits from deployed PeopleSoft system: security rules, all business rules & audits, all calculations, all customizations and bolt-ons made by a customer, all database updates and access
  • Starting point is the PeopleSoft page
  • All back-end logic is the same

Semantic HTML

  • Ensures proper HTML structure: sequence, hierarchy, eliminates extraneous content, proper relationships & roles
  • Eliminates dependency on CSS for proper display
  • Showed a slide of audit of the enrollment shopping cart

Common PeopleSoft HTML Issues

  • Lightboxes
  • Prompt Dialogs
  • Set appropriate values for heading, subheadings, grids
  • Sets presentation mode attributes on read-only tables
  • Associates labels with form fields

Improves Navigation & Taxonomy

  • Sets Aria roles
  • Sets navigation role
  • Adds skip links
  • Tabs & tab structure
  • Links & buttons
  • Navigation menus and submenus

Improving End-User Interaction

  • Highlight content in focus
  • Remember scroll position on reloads, AJAX updates, and other processing

Lessons Learned: Challenges

  • High-level commitment to accessibility
  • Accessibility integrated from day one
  • Changing FTE commitments at U
  • Understanding of fuller picture
  • Immature U processes


By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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