Accessibility @ COB

Accessibility, It's everyone's business

This is a quick overview of the College of Business's accessibility goals if you have a question and you do not see an answer here it will be good to add this so let know.  Let's talk about accessibility issues and concerns anytime, let us talk about how to make accessible documents and website design questions.  If you do not know the words "Accessibility" or ADA then you should read on and you will become a skilled compliance activist.


All CSU programs, services, and activities should be accessible to all students, staff, faculty, and the general public. This encompasses all technology products used to deliver academic programs and services, student services, information technology services, and auxiliary programs and services.


  Learn about Accessibility: Tools and Help

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) require that qualified individuals be provided equal access to programs, services, and activities. California Government Code 11135 applies Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, to State entities and to the California State University (CSU). 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 the development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.

The Global Economics of Disability estimated the global population of people with disabilities as 1.3 billion: a market equivalent to the population of China. As a percentage this works out to nearly 18% of the world’s population, or 1 in every 5 people – with a combined disposable income, according to the report, of more than $1.2 trillion. These numbers are likely to climb as the baby boomer generation ages, making catering to age-related disabilities vital to anyone targeting this group.

Defendants in at least 13 federal website accessibility cases filed motions to dismiss or for summary judgment where there were no unusual circumstances like a prior court order or settlement agreement that obligated the defendant to make its website accessible. The courts denied all but two of those motions and let the cases proceed to discovery.

You are a Business major and working in the United States?  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to make reasonable accommodations for those with recognized disabilities, but only if those businesses fall within the ambit of the law.  If your business is on the small side or doesn’t cater to the public, it may not need to comply with the ADA. Some basic principles of creating an accessible website include a clearly laid-out, hierarchical structure, clearly labeled information, and meaningful titles and headers. Sound familiar? If they do, it’s because these are also basic principles of Search Engine Optimization. They also contribute to making a website that much easier for all users to navigate.

How can you tell if your business falls under the ADA? Here are some general guidelines:

ADA Titles I and III

Although the ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires reasonable accommodations in both the private and public sectors, Title I and Title III of the ADA are the ones most applicable to small private business owners.

Title I of the ADA covers areas of private employment and requires eligible businesses to provide employees with equal opportunity to enjoy privileges of employment. It also prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Title III of the ADA focuses on private and public entities that are considered “public accommodations,” and requires that businesses not discriminate against customers based on disability, including providing reasonable access.

Still, for either of these titles, certain businesses may not have to comply with the ADA’s standards.

Title I Compliance

The ADA defines “employer” as any person:

  • Engaged in an industry affecting commerce,
  • Employing 15 or more full-time employees each working day,
  • For at least 20 or more calendar weeks in the year.

This means if your business only has 14 or fewer full-time employees, or is only in business for less than 20 weeks a year, then you do not have to comply with Title I.

Businesses entirely owned by a federally recognized Native American tribe are also exempt from Title I, as well as any tax-exempt private membership club.

Title III Compliance

As far as Title III is concerned, only businesses considered “public accommodations” are required to comply. The federal law offers this non-exhaustive list of public accomodations:

  • Inns, hotels, and motels
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Bakeries and grocery stores
  • Hardware stores or any sales/retail outlet
  • Banks
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Accountants and lawyers’ offices
  • Health care providers’ offices
  • Public transportation
  • Recreation venues
  • Schools
  • Social service centers
  • Gyms

Essentially, any business that regularly serves the public is considered a public accommodation, but private clubs or religious organizations are considered exempt.

Business owners should remember that federal disability law under the ADA is only one part of disability law in any state; there are also corresponding state laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability both in employment and in public accommodations, like California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

Missing alt text (picture, text box, other elements)

Picture, text boxes, and other non-decorative images require text descriptions (also called alternative text or "Alt Text"), to convey information to non-sighted users.

How to fix missing alt text fields in word

Documents that are not formatted using styles and heading levels may not contain enough structure to enable a non-sighted user to navigate through a document as quickly as a sighted user.  Use logical Headings.

Documents Accessibility in Word

  • Links should be accessible for users not using a mouse
  • Link text should use words that briefly convey what the person will get if they click the link.
  • The link should let the user know if they are going to open a Video or PDF or DOC or XLS.
  • Don’t use “Click Here,” “More” or the FULL URL as link text
  • Always fill out the Title field for each link you create
  • Content from Title field will hover above link when moused over

Bad Link Example:

Click here for more:

Good Link Example:

This is more detail about building accessible links (PDF)

Unclear hyperlink text (Word)

Hyperlink text which is not meaningful, descriptive, and unique needs to be appropriately labeled. For example, a link titled click here does not provide enough information to a non-sighted user to understand the link's destination or purpose.

How to fix hyperlinks in Word

The use of a graphic with text requires that all text be also provided to the screen outside of the image.  The use the image is fine but you must provide full text, and fully explain the image and all the text.  This can be tedious but if you do this while you build the infographic it is less so.  

  • Design the info-graphic using best accessibility practices for color contrast and use of color.
  • Provide long alternative text or transcript that conveys the content OR
  • Provide HTML/CSS so a screen reader can access the content.

  • Definition: An alt tag, also known as "alt attribute" and "alt description," is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines. Applying images to alt tags such as product photos can positively impact an eCommerce store's search engine rankings.
  • Alt tags provide text to describe images on your web page
  • Make sure to convey any meaning in the alt tag that the picture would provide for a sighted user.
  • Missing alt text (picture, text box, other elements)

    Picture, text boxes, and other non-decorative images require text descriptions (also called alternative text or "Alt Text"), to convey information to non-sighted users.

    How to fix missing alt text fields Word

Blank table rows or columns

When tables contain blank rows or columns, it is difficult for non-sighted users to understand and navigate through the table.

How to fix BLANK rows or columns in Word

Tables that present data in a column and row format must be appropriately marked up in the CMS.
  • Include a Caption Tag for the whole table
  • Insert/Edit Table > Select Table Caption checkbox
  • Insert Caption on New Table
  • Tables are read from left to right and line by line
  • Any column or row headers must be marked so the content is read correctly
  • Right-click in the header
  • Select Cell > Table Cell Properties
  • Set Cell Type to Header
  • Set Scope to Either Column or Row

Use headers and headings style to let your document have good format and flow.  Open the properties of your document and set the internal title.

Policy: All multimedia (audio or video) produced or published must be accessible at the time of posting.

Multimedia accessibility is easier than you might think. Don't be afraid. For most W3C media, you just need to provide a simple text transcript. Transcripts are relatively cheap and easy. There are strong additional benefits in providing transcripts.

This website has all you need to know about making your video accessible.

This is the WORD version but there is almost the same checker in all products these days, Adobe also.

  1. Save the document in .docx format. If shown, "Maintain compatibility with previous versions of Word" must be unchecked.
  2. Press and release ALT, press and release F (File tab), press and release I (Info).
  3. Press and release I (Check for Issues) and then press A (Check Accessibility).
  4. Fix problems found by Checker using the guidance below


Please refer to the Campus Guidelines (SSO Sign in required)

Creating Social Media Accounts

Before creating a new account, please secure the approval of your manager and read these guidelines. In addition, all university social-media channels must support CSULB editorial and visual standards.

Keep in mind that having one or more social accounts will require a daily investment of time in planning, monitoring, creating and curating content. Using one of the university's centrally managed channels to share periodic information might meet your needs. If you have information you would like posted through CSULB's centrally managed social media channels, please contact us to request coverage.

Naming Conventions

When creating an account, it is important to name it as a University entity. Whenever possible, please adhere to these naming styles:

  • CSULB ‘Group Name’ for Facebook
  • CSULBGroupName or CSULBGroupName for Instagram and Twitter
  • If that is not possible, please follow these guidelines:
    • If space constraints exist on a site, use "CSULB" as the first letters in the name (e.g., "CSULBASI," "CSULB_ASI").