Policy UL-AD15 Web Accessibility

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Policy
  • Guidelines
  • Pages Authored Within the CMS
  • CMS Development
  • Libraries Applications and Pages Authored Outside the CMS
  • Third Party Applications
  • Cross References


This policy complements University Policy AD69 Accessibility of Penn State Web Pages and defines the Libraries' Web accessibility requirements..


Creating and maintaining an accessible web site is an ongoing Libraries priority and responsibility. Our goal is to provide effortless access for all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the University Libraries’ online resources. The Penn State University Libraries are committed to making the Libraries web site and resources accessible to all. 

The Penn State University Libraries’ Web pages, sites, and services must be in compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium’s standard: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0, AA conformance level.


The University Libraries will make a consistent effort to provide fully accessible Web pages for University students, faculty, staff and visitors.  If a user in one of these University categories identifies a need for Web page content that is not accessible and requests assistance, all reasonable efforts will be made to provide an accessible page. 

Requests for exemption may be submitted by the unit to the University Libraries’ Web Liaison for review in cases where accessible access is not possible (e.g., the content due to its nature or format cannot be made accessible, the issue is with third party software and code changes cannot be made, etc.) or may require extraordinary measures. The Libraries’ Web Liaison will investigate the request, and if no other options are available, may submit the request for exemption in writing according to AD69 guidelines.

If it is not possible to make the page accessible, the unit or department will consult with the requestor and provide an equally effective alternative to the information whenever feasible.  “Equally effective” means that the alternative communicates the same information in as timely a fashion as does the Web page.   For those sites or individual pages that cannot be made accessible, the unit or department representative may contact Adaptive Technology and Services in the office of Access Services or the University Libraries’ Web Liaison for consultation on providing an alternate format when requested by a University library user (faculty, student, or staff).


Standard Web pages authored within the CMS will be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant. 

Authoring of pages with non-standard or non-text content may in some cases bring pages out of WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.  I-Tech will be responsible for conducting monthly accessibility scans to ascertain whether any new posted content is accessible and will make authors aware of any inaccessible content on their pages. Authors will follow the recommended workflow in making their pages accessible.  If pages cannot be made accessible, I-Tech will work with the page creator to create an accessible alternative in a reasonable timeframe.


Every effort has been made in development to create CMS components and templates that deliver pages that are accessible according to WCAG 2.0 AA.  Any new components and templates developed by I-Tech will be written to ensure accessibility.  Where necessary, components and code delivered by Adobe CQ will be customized to produce pages that are WCAG 2.0 AA compliant. 

The footer on every page must contain the approved accessibility icon and associated link to the Libraries’ accessibility statement/guidelines. 


Libraries applications and web pages authored outside of the CMS will be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant. Responsibility for testing the accessibility of Web pages and Libraries applications resides with the creators and their unit or department.  Pages or application must pass the automated accessibility scans with University-provided auditing software, and  must also be manually checked with the use of assistive technology. The pages will be scanned as part of the weekly accessibility audit. Any accessibility issues will be reported to the responsible unit and corrected in a timely fashion. Contact:  I-Tech for assistance in automated and manual web page scans and accessibility remediation.


The Libraries will include compliance with AD69 as a requirement in future RFPs and as an evaluation criterion for purchase of or subscription to third party software/resources.

The University Libraries’ Web Liaison will review the policy and guidelines annually.


University Policy AD69 Accessibility of Penn State Web Pages

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0

Effective Date: September 19, 2005
Date Approved: September 19, 2005 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 2012 - Revised to reflect new University and Libraries Web accessibility guidelines and requirements.
  • November 2007 – Revised to take into account pages authored outside the CMS and pages authored within the CMS
  • September 19, 2005 – New policy

Last Review Date:  October 2012