December 2019 Accessibility Updates


December 17, 2019

After a fall so busy we missed an update, we have a lot of news and resources to share. October was an incredibly full month, with dozens of events and workshops centered on or around Disability Awareness and Accessibility. We hope you had a chance to attend a few and that you learned something about the accessibility community in the process. DiversAbility at Yale (DAY), the staff affinity group, has made recordings of a couple of these events available on their website, and we encourage you to check them out. In October, the Digital Accessibility team also said goodbye to Michael Harris, Web Accessibility Engineer, who took a position with Bryn Mawr. Michael was instrumental to the formation of Yale’s accessibility program and an important resource for the Yale campus and community. We will all miss him but wish him the very best in this new chapter in his life.

In the coming months we will continue to build out the UI Component Library, offer workshops on Siteimprove, document remediation, captioning, and social media accessibility, and provide guidance on procurement. We are also working to build curricula for IT Academy. Through IT Academy, you’ll be able to work your way through two digital accessibility tracks and demonstrate proficiency in accessibility in a tangible, recordable way.

Accessibility Heroes

Want to nominate someone (including yourself) as an Accessibility Hero? Email Michelle Morgan for inclusion in our next update.


Marrisa Delise: Graduate Registrar, Pathology

Marrisa went the extra mile to make sure the Pathology Graduate Handbook, which is available online, was accessible.

Lisa Kimmel: Director of Wellness and Health Education

Lisa worked with the Digital Accessibility team to make sure that the color scheme planned for the 2020 Yale Trail Challenge will comply with WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines.

Maria Gutierrez: Program Manager, Title IX Office

Maria remediated the 2019 AAU Campus Climate Survey Report document on her own, making sure it’s available to everyone who needs it.


Andrew Dowe: Director of Undergraduate Studies, WGSS and Associate Director, Office of LGBTQ Resources

Andrew consistently notices and brings inaccessible content to the attention of his colleagues, particularly emails and event notices and fliers.

Carolyn Sharp, Professor of Homiletics, Yale Divinity School

Carolyn is sharing what she’s learned about accessibility with her colleagues at the Divinity School and advocating for more inclusive learning practices for students with disabilities.


JoAnn Piscitelli, Office of Public Affairs & Communications

JoAnn has been working with Web Accessibility Engineer Sarah Lynch to make sure the links on all of her sites are labeled correctly.

Tip of the Month

Make your forms accessible using Acrobat Pro DC

Guidance on making forms accessible is a common request our team receives. Adding tooltips to your form fields is a vital way to improve form accessibility. You can easily add tooltips to your form fields using Acrobat Pro DC. For step-by-step instructions for adding tooltips, and other accessibility information for forms, visit Adobe’s How-To article on accessible PDFs.

Trainings & Workshops

Review our trainings online

Many of our trainings and workshops are also available as screencast and captioned videos on YouTube. While we strongly recommend attending a training in person, where you can ask clarifying questions and receive personalized advice, recordings of our trainings are a good resource. Use them when you need to remind yourself how to do certain things, share them with colleagues when suggesting accessibility improvements they can make, and refer to them as needed if it’s been a while since you’ve gone through a workshop.


Siteimprove is a self-service application available to all Yale faculty and staff to give website owners the insight they need to work towards improving the quality and accessibility of their sites, optimize the site for search engine discovery, and capture basic analytics about site use to help prioritize improvement efforts. This training will include hands-on activities. There are computers available for use in the training room. However, if you prefer, you may bring your own laptop. 

This training will cover features of Siteimprove, including:

  • Accessibility
  • Quality Assurance
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Policy
  • Reports

We’ll provide steps to get started:

  • Requesting access and adding sites
  • Common Quality Assurance tasks
  • Discovering PDF documents
  • Accessibility quick wins

Web Accessibility Training for Content Editors

This half-day workshop is designed to train staff who input content into websites how to do so in ways that meet Yale’s Web Accessibility Policy. Note: This workshop is primarily for people who create content through tools such as Wordpress or YaleSites Drupal. Visual designers and developers who program websites using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript can reach out to for more information on training targeted to their needs.


  • Explain the roles and responsibilities for content editors in improving the accessibility of Yale’s digital campus
  • Teach best practice for creating and editing content to be accessible
  • Share resources available to assist content editors in maintaining accessible web content

Accessible Word Documents, PowerPoint Presentations and PDFs: Basics

This beginner’s document accessibility workshop is designed to train staff in the basic methods used for making Word documents, PowerPoint Presentations, and PDFs digitally accessible, for inclusion on university websites or for university-related business, including teaching, student services, and other administrative support. It is appropriate for anyone interested in learning how to make documents used in everyday university business more accessible and will cover the fundamentals of document creation and remediation. This training does not require a computer, but attendees are encouraged to bring laptops if possible.

Developer’s Lunch-and-Learn: Accessibility: Using Bootstrap to Create Accessible Frontends

Yale ITS believes that learning accessibility and front-end best practices should be an ongoing, permanent process of training and skills development. To support developers‘ continuing education, the Digital Accessibility Team is hosting monthly brown-bags where developers can bring their lunches and learn something about accessibility that they can begin implementing right away.

Captioning Your Media @ Yale: Options and Basics

Have media you need to caption, but unsure what your responsibilities are for captioning under Yale’s Accessibility Policy, where to begin, or what options are available? This two-hour training covers paid options for captioning your media through our Preferred Captioning Vendors 3Play Media and, as well as free options, like YouTube. Attendees will leave understanding their obligations under Yale’s policy, the differences between the major captioning file types, and how to create, edit, and sync captions to their media for both Canvas courses and websites.

Social Media Accessibility: Basics

If you add content to your websites, chances are you’re also responsible for managing social media for your department or unit. Social media platforms like YouTube/Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can present unique challenges for users with disabilities, many of which are beyond your control.  

In this training you’ll learn not only how to use the accessibility features that are available on these platforms, but also valuable work-arounds to counter those that are not. Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or smart phone to the session, along with a piece of content—a video, tweet, or photo–you’d like to make accessible on social media (you can use a personal account if you don’t have access to Yale accounts on personal devices). We will spend the first half of the training going through the basics of social media accessibility and the second half creating accessible content ourselves.

Events & Resources

Have an event you’d like us to feature or a resource to share?

Email Michelle Morgan for inclusion in our next update.



DAY (DiversAbility at Yale) Steering Committee Meeting

First Thursday of each month

12-1 pm

221 Whitney Ave Conference Rm 612

Please join the monthly DAY Steering Committee meetings. The meetings are an opportunity to hear what’s been happening with DAY and what is in the works. We welcome all those who are interested in getting involved and sharing their ideas. Lunch will be provided. Register by sending an email to Zoom is available if you cannot attend the meeting in person.


WAVE Update

The web accessibility evaluation tool, WAVE, has made significant updates to its tools. You can read about the updates on WebAim’s webpages, or email for guidance on appropriately using the tool.

UI Style Guide

The Yale UI Component Library was made to help developers build interfaces that match Yale’s visual identity and follow WCAG 2 AA accessibility recommendations. Components include Alerts, Breadcrumbs, Buttons, Forms, Images, List Group, Modal Dialogs, Tables, and Utilities, with more to be added in future updates.

PDF Association

The PDF Association’s Electronic Document Conference (2019) has made its presentations available to the public on YouTube. Check out presentations such as “The Sweet Spot Between Automation and Human Remediation,” “Structurally Complex Content in Accessible PDF: How to Represent Mathematical Formulas,” and “An Accessibility Label for Electronic Documents,” among others, for quick introductions to more advanced PDF accessibility topics.