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MSU Web Accessibility Project


Phased Accessibility Plan

Phase 1

  Begun June 2018, completed April 2019

Goals: Train all MSU content managers on web accessibility within our CMS, provide them with scanning tools to identify and correct errors as they create content, and remediate errors within their CMS web pages so they are beginning this process with good examples to follow.

To achieve this, the Web team created

  • a back-end web accessibility scanning tool for MSU-wide audits and accessibility data collection. 
  • a front-end scanning tool within our CMS framework for users to allow them to catch accessibility errors on individual CMS web pages while editing them. 
  • a web accessibility training to provide a web accessibility overview and instruction on using the accessibility tool within the CMS and require all current and future users to take the training.
  • Additional self-serve help documentation to assist users with commonly asked accessibility questions.

Additionally, the Web team

  • performed outreach to the campus community on web accessibility issues.
  • hired and trained a team of student workers to remediate errors on all web pages across our domain that exist within and are managed by our CMS and its templates.

Phase 2

  Begun May 2019, halted June 2020

Goals: Help MSU website managers to develop a strategy to deal with non-web documents on their websites, a category which includes PDFs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets. If possible, convert a select number of high-importance documents into accessible CMS-managed web pages.

To achieve this, the Web team

  • trained its team of student workers on this process.
  • provided website managers with a list of non-web documents currently active on their site.
  • recommended removal of any unnecessary documents to reduce the pool of inaccessible ones.
  • Assisted where possible in converting a small number of high-importance PDFs into accessible web pages.
  • communicated best practices moving forward to avoid workflows that rely on inaccessible non-web documents.

This phase was halted - funding for our students was lost due to COVID 19 budget cuts in June 2020.

Phase 3

  Begun June 2020

Goals: Create a system that allows for twice-yearly communications with per website accessibility audit information to assist users in maintaining accessibility standards on their websites.

To do this, Web will

  • update our backend site-wide scanner and open it up to users to allow them to scan their entire site at will and receive an accessibility error report.
  • integrate this tool with the CMS dashboard for ease-of-use.
  • connect this tool with a workflow that allows us to communicate with web content managers twice annually and provide an accessibility review of their CMS-managed native web content (note – this does not include review of non-web documents such as those created with Adobe / Microsoft products).


We have many more articles about web accessibility in our help center.