Replacing an Accessible Website: Ensuring a Better New Site

Handouts Media

Presented at 2:15pm in Mattie Silks on Thursday, November 9, 2023.

#38334

Speaker(s)

  • Alen Davoudian, Senior Information Systems Analyst, California State University, Northridge
  • Kate Tipton, Program Manager, California State University, Northridge

Session Details

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

Summary

If you’ve already made your enterprise website accessible, but it’s due for an upgrade, how do you make sure you’re moving forward on accessibility? We faced this challenge in our web redesign project; we’ll share what we did and what we learned.

Abstract

In early 2020, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) undertook a redesign and upgrade of our enterprise or administrative web presence. CSUN, as you might imagine, has a long-term investment in the accessibility of our official website. The challenge became to finish the project with a new web presence that is at least as accessible as the one it replaced. CSUN has the Universal Design Center (UDC), a team dedicated to the CSU’s Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). The UDC partnered with the project co-sponsors and their vendors on the accessibility requirements for this project. In this session, UDC team members will explain our approach to this project, the steps we took to ensure the new web presence was accessible, and lessons learned. Accessibility is a shared commitment as CSUN, and the project sponsors included it as a requirement beginning with the vendor selection process. Still, garnering explicit executive support was a critical first step. Throughout the project, we advocated for accessibility in planning and goal-setting. The UDC team gave feedback on early designs, tested prototypes, then tested pre-production pages. We’ll describe our testing methodologies in detail. Training editors is vital so that content meets accessibility guidelines. We’ll address the training hand-off from the vendor to the UDC team. No project is perfect. Finally, we’ll talk about things we might have approached differently, and what we learned from this project.

Keypoints

  1. Explore how we tested the new website. From designs to pre-production pages, testing steps, reports and more.
  2. Summarize challenges posed by starting over with a new website.
  3. Discuss what we learned. What we could have done differently or better, field questions and conversations.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Alen Davoudian

Alen is a Senior Information Systems Analyst in Universal Design Center at CSUN. Alen leads a technical evaluation and development team to identify accessibility barriers, consult and offer practical solutions to develop accessible coding methodologies. He provides consultation and expertise to Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) network at CSU Chancellor's Office.

Kate Tipton

Program manager for Universal Design Center at CSUN. Kate has more than 15 years of experience as user experience developer and software development manager. Also, more than 6 years of full-time experience in accessible technology field.

Handout(s)