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Web Accessibility at Purdue

What is Web Accessibility?

Web Accessibility removes barriers to electronic information and technology. Accessibility focuses on all potential users of Web content. These include individuals who must or choose to use assistive technology to consume content on the Web. Web Accessibility is making sure the code of a Web page is written in a way to be as clear as possible to assistive technology such as screen readers. This normally means adding a few extra lines of code which may not be visible on the Web page, but helps to clarify information to someone who may be listening rather than reading a Web page.

Purdue's Web Accessibility Policy (Issued March 15, 2010)

Web Accessibility Policy - Appendix A

Web Accessibility Compliance

Expectations and Extensions

Requests for extensions or exceptions to the Policy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the campus Equal Opportunity Officer. A request for an extension or exception must be made, in writing, to your campus Equal Opportunity Officer. At West Lafayette, that is the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity. The Equal Opportunity Officer will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis. Requests for extensions should include the reason compliance cannot be accomplished in the requisite time frame along with an anticipated time frame for compliance and/or the proposed alternative. Requests for exceptions may be granted where compliance is not technically possible or may require extraordinary measures due to the nature of the information and the intent of the Web page. Requests for exceptions must be based on issues other than cost alone.


The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) will use Compliance Sheriff to conduct random audits of web accessibility for Purdue University Web pages and individual Web pages that conduct university related business.   Based on these audits, OIE will provide individualized feedback and guidance so accessibility can be improved.  

Compliance Sheriff

Compliance Sheriff is an automated accessibility testing tool from HiSoftware.  It helps organizations ensure that their web pages meet accessibility standards.  Compliance Sheriff features a web-based user interface that checks the overall compliance of a website and identifies web pages with accessibility issues.

The purpose of this service is to assist Purdue Web sites in meeting compliance with Purdue’s Web Accessibility Policy and current federal, state and local laws regarding electronic and information Technology.  Compliance Sheriff is optimized to compare Web pages to Purdue guidelines.  Anyone with a Purdue career account can request access to use this tool to scan their site, to learn more visit our Compliance Sheriff Webpage. It is highly recommended that users have a basic understanding of HTML code.

Web Accessibility Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


The Purdue Web Accessibility Committee Website lists resources, guidelines, and tools to assist those with making their Web pages accessible. The Committee has also developed written self-guided training documents which can be found at their Website and is working on instructor-led courses that will begin sometime in the Fall of 2010. Lastly, the Committee's Website includes a technical FAQ section. Volunteers from the Web Accessibility Committee are available for technical questions, and these questions can be submitted using the questionnaire form on their contact page.

Web Accessibility Awards