Information Technology Accessibility

Evergreen’s Commitment to Accessibility

Consistent with its commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment, The Evergreen State College strives to provide equal access to all of its educational and administrative services, programs, and activities.

Evergreen's Accessible Technology Policy is a component for ensuring individuals with disabilities may access information and technology as fully, equally, and independently as those without a disability. The college recognizes that identical ease of use may not always be possible, but it is the goal to which the college aspires.

General Guidelines for Accessible Content

Follow these guidelines in any software or web application to make your content accessible. These guidelines are based on internationally-accepted web accessibility guidelines WCAG 2.0 Level AA. 

Text and Links

Use properly formatted headings to structure the page.
Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text. (Note: this page is a pretty good example of using headings!)

Format lists as lists.
Formatting is conveyed to assistive technologies and mobile devices so they can present information as it’s meant to be presented. Properly formatted documents are more understandable and accessible.

Write meaningful link text.
Links embedded in text should describe the link's destination. This helps all users navigate more efficiently, especially screen reader users.

Colors and Images

Use sufficient color contrast.
Without sufficient color contrast between font and background, people who are color blind and low vision will not benefit from the information.

Don't use color alone to convey meaning.
Using color alone to convey meaning will leave those who are color blind or blind unable to interpret the meaning.

Eliminate or limit blinking or flashing content to 3 seconds.
Blinking content is distracting, and it can cause seizures to occur in people with a photosensitive disorder.

Provide alternative text descriptions for images.
Alt text is read by a screen reader. It should adequately describe what is being displayed and why it’s important. This allows screen reader users to benefit from the information being conveyed by the image, even if they cannot see it.


Ensure that any action that uses a mouse can also be completed by keyboard alone.
Mobility and visual disabilities often make using a mouse impossible or ineffective. If content is not keyboard accessible, it will limit who can learn from the content.

Design clear and consistent navigation.
Clear and consistent navigation in your course will allow students to focus on your content rather than on how to find it.

Maintain a proper reading order in tables, forms and slides.
Using the tab key, your cursor should follow through the content in the same order it is intended to be read or completed. This benefits users who cannot use a mouse.

Label form fields and buttons clearly.
A screen reader will identify the button or form field by reading the label. The label should adequately describe the button’s action, and the form field label should indicate what information should be filled in to the form field.

Create tables with column and/or row headers.
Using table headers is important to conveying tabular data accurately.

Screen readers read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (and only once). If cells are split or merged, it could throw the reading order off which may make the table difficult to comprehend by users who are blind and using a screen reader to navigate.

Other Considerations

Don't require inaccessible applications be used.
Inaccessible software and applications will shut out students with disabilities. For questions regarding interactive applications and software you may be using, please submit a ticket at

Write math and science equations accessibly.
For web pages, use the Math Editor in Canvas that outputs LaTeX. For MS Word and PPT documents, use the Math Type plugin.

Optional materials must include a balance of accessible options.
Even if materials are not required for coursework, students should be able to select accessible materials so that they can fully participate.

Include the Accommodations Statement in your syllabus.
Make it clear to your students that you are aware of how they can receive accommodations. Also link to accessibility or assistive technology user information for software or web applications that are required in the course.

Creating Accessible Content

All of the commonly used software tools at Evergreen have options for creating content that is accessible to all.

Download the Accessibility Handbook

Download the handbook for detailed information and step-by-step instructions for common software. 

Accessible Documents

Word, PowerPoint, PDF, including scanned articles and books

Creating Documents

Scanning and Converting Documents

You can get help having articles and book pages scanned and converted to an accessible document format.

  • For 25 pages or less per item, contact your program secretary or the library.
  • For larger jobs, see the Copy Center in the bookstore. However, if your job is more than 100 pages they will request prior approval from the Budget Dean.

Complex Accessible Content

Audio, video, complex images, and mathematics

Video for Curricular Content

The Evergreen State College Daniel J. Evans Library has a wide selection of captioned media. Please check with the Sound & Image Library for material.

When searching YouTube, you can search for only videos with captions. When searching multiple video services through Google, used the advanced search fields to find only captioned videos.

If you find a video that is critical to your curriculum and it is not caption, captioning may be available upon request. Contact the Sound & Image Library for more information. Please allow 7 business days for processing.

Creating Video for College Use

All videos created for curricular or public viewing must include captions. Contact Academic Technologies or Marketing and Communications if you have questions about captioning.

Complex Images

Information about making complex accessible images, including graphs and charts can be found in the full Accessibility Guide on page 9. 

Math Formulas

See the Evergreen HelpWiki for creating accessible math content

Accessible Webpages

Canvas, Wordpress, blogs and sites

Most web content at Evergreen is created in Canvas (curriculum) or WordPress (curricular sites and blogs). Content tools have options for you to make sure your content is fully accessible.

See the full Accessibility Handbook for a general overview of the aspects of an accessible web page.


Canvas is Evergreen's primary Learning Management System. It offers a variety of tools for sharing materials, assessing student learning, and facilitating discussion.

When you get a new Canvas site, you can refer to the "New to Canvas" module for help creating accessible content in Canvas.

See the Evergreen HelpWiki for Canvas


WordPress is the college's web publishing tool for curricular websites, blogs, and online student academic journals.

Read Evergreen HelpWiki for WordPress

Other Editing Tools

If you are creating web pages manually, you may find the UW IT Accessibility Checklist useful for making your materials accessible to all.

Responsibility for Accessible Course Content

Faculty, support staff, and Access Services for Students with Disabilities all have responsibilities to make curricular content accessible for all students. 

Faculty Responsibilities 

  • Use Guidelines to Web Accessibility when creating or preparing instructional materials
  • Use accessible documents that follow appropriate guidelines
  • Design clear and consistent navigation
  • Write alternative text descriptions for images
  • Write math and science with LaTeX MathType or Libre Office
  • Retain original files (Powerpoint, Word, etc.)
  • Supply Access Services with course materials upon request for an accommodation
  • Review accessibility of technology and electronic materials used in course with assistance from support staff as needed
  • Develop a plan for making inaccessible program content accessible

Staff Responsibilities 

  • Assist faculty with replacing or reformatting course materials and legacy documents for timely accommodation
  • Assist faculty with checking accessibility of required software and electronic course materials
  • Offer training sessions or one-on-one consultations for faculty
  • Develop training materials. Point faculty and staff to current resources
  • Review courses for accessibility and provide feedback and support to faculty
  • Host, procure and/or replace materials, software, systems, and applications that meet accessibility standards and guidelines when possible

Access Services Responsibilities 

  • Review documentation of disability and determine student eligibility for accommodation
  • Lead efforts to ensure students are appropriately accommodated
  • Notify faculty when an accommodation is required
  • Supply students with an accessible format of the textbook
  • Provide alternative format of PDFs, math/science and publishers PPTs
  • Administer other reasonable auxiliary aids and services