Carnegie Mellon University

Digital Accessibility 

Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is accessible to individuals with disabilities or other special needs. “Digital Accessibility” concerns the ability of persons with disabilities to access electronic resources such as the internet, software, mobile devices, e-readers, etc. Carnegie Mellon is committed to making its programs and facilities accessible to all members of the university community, including students with disabilities. This commitment to accessibility extends to digital, electronic, multimedia and other technology resources at the university. Below are some resources that departments may use to help ensure that electronic resources and other technology is provided to university community members in an accessible manner. For assistance requesting accessible software or other materials not listed below please email our office.

This handout on making accessible PDFs takes you through a step-by-step process on how to test for PDF accessibility and fix any issues.

The university offers tips to making websites accessible for all users. 

The WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) is a helpful resource for checking your website's accessibility. Enter your page's URL on the site, and WAVE will evaluate your page and offer suggestions for improving its overall accessibility. NOTE: Feedback from the site are not specific to WCAG 2.0 AA and should be used only as suggestions for web accessbility improvement.

WCAG 2.0 is a set of global usability guidelines to make digital content accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Following these guidelines will help make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities. These guidelines address important issues such as,

  • the importance of using descriptive alternative text in all aspects of web design
  • providing synchronized captions for all multimedia that contains audio (such as YouTube videos)
  • creating instructions that do not rely solely on images or sound for information (e.g., click the square box, click the link on the right-hand side of the page)

For more information about making your website and online materials accessible, see How to Meet WCAG 2.0. We encourage all Carnegie Mellon websites to adhere to the AA level of conformance.

The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation is available to help CMU faculty and graduate students consider accessibility issues when designing courses, instructional activities and assessments. Email the Eberly Center to schedule a one-on-one consultation.

We encourage you to review the following resources for additional information about digital accessibility: