2023-24 LWTech Website Accessibility Audit and Website Redesign

Project Overview

In June 2022, the college was contacted by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) asking to work with us to make our public-facing digital platforms and content (website, any third-party webpages/apps, and documents) more accessible. Equity, diversity and inclusion are a priority at LWTech; this includes digital accessibility. Digital accessibility is essential to removing barriers for students, staff, and our community members, and align with our college Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Themes. We are dedicated to providing students and employees equitable and accessible access to classes, the website, documents, and any other digital methods by which they access information. Currently, our website is out of compliance of state and federal laws. For many years we’ve been making significant steps towards a fully accessible website. This project will take us into compliance upon completion.

This project has several phases and will last up to 18 months to two years as we remediate our current site, create a refreshed and redesigned website for the college, as well as work with content creators and third-party vendors utilizing external sites and apps.

It's EDI Work

LWTech is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion for our college community, and is striving to adopt more centralized best practices and procedures for web and digital accessibility, and is taking concrete steps to ensure that its web content is accessible to all users, in line with its commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.


To ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to information and functionality on the internet.


  • Participate in OCR website audit
  • Ensure all documents on the website are remediated for accessibility
  • Identify and confirm that 3rd party platforms and the information included in them are accessible
  • Successfully complete the OCR website audit
  • Launch new accessible website

Project Timelines

The following is the high-level project timeline. Specific benchmarks and deliverables will be shared once the Audit Report has been turned into OCR. Please note that specifics within the timeline may shift.

June, 2022

  • Contacted by OCR

September through December, 2022

  • Q&A meetings w/OCR liaison

November 24, 2022

  • Signed Resolution Agreement

December 12, 2022

  • E-cab approved budget for vendor supported website redesign

December 23, 2022

  • Posted (web) accessibility statement on website

February 2, 2023

  • Kickoff/planning meeting with OCR liaison

Week of February 6, 2023

  • Initiate Web Accessibility Task Force Meeting with website vendor and initiate contract process

Week of February 13, 2023

  • WA Task Force first meeting to begin audit

April through July, 2023

  • Sign contract with website vendor
  • Begin redesign process

August 30, 2023

  • Audit Report due to OCR

March 1, 2024 (Not set yet/TBD with OCR liaison)

  • Remediation and Maintenance Reports due to OCR

Weekend of July 28, 2024

  • New (public-facing) website launch!

August 2024, and Beyond

  • Training Opportunities in web editing and web accessibility

There will come a time when we will need to have a freeze all content updates to the website. Right now, we anticipate this phase of the project could last between 4-to-6 weeks and will most likely take place sometime next January and/or February. We’ll know more once we begin the design phase of the website.

July, 2023

  • Sign contract with web design/CMS vendor, Modern Campus

July through August, 2023

  • Discovery (research)
  • College (employees and students) feedback and input opportunities 

September, 2023

  • Wireframe Delivery
  • Small focus group feedback opportunities

October, 2023

  • Design phase begins (October 16)
  • Small focus group feedback opportunities

October 19 through December 9, 2023

  • Content owners to update page content

December, 2023

  • New content freeze on website (except for urgent enrollment driven info)
  • Website Dev/Architecture Delivery
  • Editing page content begins

February, 2024

  • Content Migration

March and April, 2023

  • Beta Testing

Weekend of July 28, 2024

  • Launch!

Web Accessibility Task Force Members

  • Executive Sponsor/Project Manager | Communications, Leslie Shattuck, MarCom
  • Digital and UX Designer/Website Accessibility, Kimberly Goddard, MarCom
  • Website and Digital Content/Website Accessibility, Alex Sorrels, MarCom

Target Audiences

Communications Strategies and Channels

LWTech Internal Communications

Method Frequency Purpose

Cabinet Meetings


Executive Sponsor will regularly update the president’s cabinet with regard to the project. The PM will brief the cabinet as necessary.

Task Force Members


Project updates, remediation, document review.

College-Wide Emails

Quarterly, then bi-monthly, then monthly, then weekly

Announcements, website freezes, meetings, input gathering sessions, etc.

Leadership Team Meetings

As Necessary

The leadership team meets regularly and while this is not a primary communications channel it can be utilized as necessary to provide specific information to segments of college leadership

Councils and Committee Meetings

As Necessary

College divisions, departments and service areas are represented through shared governance. While this is not a primary communications channel it can be utilized as necessary to provide specific information as needed.

All College Days (Non-Instruction, Professional Development Days)

As Necessary

There are several non-instruction days throughout the academic year. These days provide an opportunity for updates, and for professional training.

Student Emails

All Students

Communications around website closures

All-Staff Meetings

All Faculty and Staff

Updates or information related to the project provided by the Executive Sponsor or Project Manager.

Amy’s Update

Faculty and Staff

Quick updates and reference for further meetings and events related to the project.

Board of Trustees Meetings

Board of Trustees

Top-level project updates (if needed) from the Executive Sponsor and/or Project Manager.

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

There are very specific acronyms and terms for this work. Below is the Glossary of Terms.

Term or Acronym Definition

Website/Web/Digital Accessibility

The degree to which a website or digital content can be accessed and used by people with disabilities.

Accessibility Checker

Is a software tool or online service that scans a website or digital content to identify potential accessibility issues, based on established accessibility guidelines and standards. The tool then generates a report of the identified issues and suggests remediation strategies to improve the accessibility of the content.

Accessible Design

Designing a website or application with accessibility in mind from the beginning.


Refers to any modification or adjustment to a system, environment, or process that enables a person with a disability to participate in an activity or access a service. Accommodations can include physical changes to the environment, changes to policies or procedures, the use of assistive technology or adaptive equipment, or modifications to communication methods. The goal of accommodation is to create an inclusive environment that enables individuals with disabilities to fully participate and access opportunities on an equal basis with others.

Alt text

A description of an image in text form that can be read by screen readers to provide context to visually impaired users.

Assistive Technology

Any device, software or equipment used to help people with disabilities access digital content. Examples include screen readers, braille displays, and alternative keyboards.


Any obstacle that prevents a person with a disability from accessing or using a product, service, or environment.



The process of adding text to a video to provide access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Closed Captioning

Text displayed on a video that provides a written version of the audio content, allowing people who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand what is being said.

Cognitive Disability

A condition that affects a person's ability to process information, learn, and remember. Examples include dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.


Content management system is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and publish digital content on the web without the need for specialized technical knowledge often with a user-friendly interface.


Cascading Style Sheets is a language used to describe the presentation of a document written in HTML or XML, including the layout, colors, fonts, and other visual elements. CSS provides a way to separate the presentation of a document from its content, allowing for more flexible and consistent styling across multiple web pages.

Color Contrast

The difference in color between text and its background. Sufficient color contrast is important for people with low vision or color blindness.


Digital Accessibility Committee at LWTech

Descriptive Links

Links that clearly describe the destination of the link, rather than using vague language like "click here."


A physical, sensory, or cognitive impairment that affects a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Document Remediation (for accessibility)

Refers to the process of modifying digital documents to ensure that they meet accessibility standards and guidelines, making them usable by people with disabilities. This involves making changes to the document's structure, content, and formatting, as well as adding alternative text for images, captions for videos, and other features that make the content more accessible.


Department of Education


Disability Support Services at LWTech


A neurological condition that affects a person's ability to read, write, and spell.


The element on a web page that has active keyboard focus.

Focus Indicator

A visible indication of where the keyboard focus is located on a web page.


Stands for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. It is an annual event that takes place on the third Thursday of May, aimed at promoting awareness and understanding of web accessibility and inclusive design practices. The event brings together people from various backgrounds, including web developers, designers, and content creators, to learn, share knowledge and raise awareness about the importance of making digital content accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. The first GAAD was held in 2012 and has since grown to be an international event, with participants from all over the world.


A hierarchical organization of content that helps users with screen readers and other assistive technologies navigate a page.

High Contrast Mode

A mode that increases the contrast between text and its background for people with low vision.


(Hypertext Markup Language) a standard markup language used to create web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser.

Keyboard Navigation/Accessibility

The ability to navigate a website using only the keyboard, without requiring a mouse or other pointing device.

Low Vision

A visual impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Mobility Disability

A condition that affects a person's ability to move or use their limbs, such as paralysis, amputation, or arthritis.

Natural Language

Using natural language in text to make it easier for users with cognitive disabilities to understand.


Office for Civil Rights

PDF Accessibility

Making PDF documents accessible to people with disabilities.

Policy 188

Policy 188 policy establishes the expectation for Washington state agencies that people with disabilities have access to and use of information and data and be provided access to the same services and content that is available to persons without disabilities unless providing direct access is not possible due to technical or legal limitations.


An acronym that stands for Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. These are the four principles of web accessibility, as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The POUR principles provide guidance on how to create web content that is accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or have physical or cognitive disabilities.

Screen Reader

A software program that reads out the content of a website or digital document to visually impaired users.


Section 508

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. § 794d), Federal Agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.

Semantic HTML

HTML that uses descriptive tags to provide meaning and structure to the content.


A feature that converts written text into spoken words.


Universal Design

Designing products and services that can be used by everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

A framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.

User Experience (UX)

Refers to the overall experience a user has while interacting with a product, service, or system. It encompasses all aspects of a user's interaction, including usability, accessibility, ease of use, functionality, design, and more. A good user experience is one that meets the needs and expectations of the user, is intuitive and easy to navigate, and provides a positive overall experience.

Visual Disability

A condition that affects a person's ability to see, such as blindness, low vision, or color blindness.


Stands for World Wide Web Consortium. It is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the web. The W3C is made up of member organizations and a full-time staff who work together to develop and promote web standards, such as HTML, CSS, and WCAG. These standards ensure interoperability and accessibility of the web for all users.


Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications, a set of guidelines and techniques for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to ensure that web content is accessible to people with disabilities.


Web Accessibility in Mind, a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. It is a leading provider of web accessibility expertise and training, and its mission is to empower organizations to make their web content accessible to people with disabilities.

Additional Accessibility Policies, Guidelines, and Resources at LWTech