Making Web Pages Accessible for Persons with Anxiety Disorder Using WCAG Guidelines and UDL

Handouts Media

Presented at 2:15pm in Westminster III on Thursday, November 15, 2018.



  • Valorie Sundby, Principal Digital Accessibility Engineer, Optum

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Anxiety is often the companion of other disabilities and can take a backseat, not getting diagnosed and treated. The shame and humiliation of being identified with an anxiety disorder and accepting treatment is not trivial. Some of the Success Criteria in WCAG 2.0 and UDL Principles can help lessen anxiety ans prevent it from becoming disabling.


This presentation will explain the anxiety response in the human body and how various body systems respond. Some recognized anxiety disorders will be explained including GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Learn how some of the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and UDL Principles can prevent anxiety from escalating as students learn material presented in electronic format. Users with anxiety need control over sound (WCAG 2.0 SC 1.4.2 ) and moving or updating content (WCAG 2.0 SC 2.2.2). Providing alternatives (UDL Guideline 1) for display of information, for auditory and visual information provides the user with options when things go wrong such as loss of internet connection, sound card failure, or other technology failures. Look ahead at Success Criteria from WCAG 2.1 and the positive impact that applying the SC can have on people with anxiety.


  1. Anxiety Disorders are sometimes overlooked as an adjunct disability.
  2. Anxiety spectrum of impact is widely variable over time.
  3. WCAG 2.0 and UDL as methods to lessen anxiety and its impact on learning.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Valorie Sundby

Valorie Sundby, she/her/hers. CPWA, ADS

Valorie Sundby graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Management Information Systems. She has specialized in Web Accessibility Compliance since 2009. Prior to finding her professional home at Optum, Valorie worked in a variety of industries including Higher Ed. Valorie's long-standing motto is that accessibility is a journey and not a destination. Staying current with ever changing technologies and best practices is key to continual improvement.


  • Accessibility for Anxiety

    Accessibility for Anxiety updated slide deck

    Apply WCAG and UDL Principles and Guidelines to prevent and lessen the impact of anxiety.

Accessibility for Anxiety