Web Accessibility Process for New Websites

Thank you for joining SF State in its effort to make all websites, software and mobile apps accessible to people with disabilities. One of the steps for “going live” with your Drupal website is to receive accessibility approval from the ATI team. The information below will help you better understand what is involved with this process.

Once you have submitted your request, allow 5-10 business days for the review and approval process. Please consider this timeframe when you a planning for the launch of your website. If you have an especially complex website, it will take longer.

Note: The following process applies to websites that use the SF State Drupal template. We highly recommend that you use the Drupal template since it has been approved for both accessibility and branding. However, if you are not using the Drupal template we can still assist you in making your website accessible. Please be aware that it will take significantly more effort on your part and does not imply branding or ITS approval . Contact us at access@sfsu.edu for further information

After you receive a Drupal website in the development (“dev”) environment, you should begin to add content to your website with accessibility in mind. While the Drupal templates are accessible, the content that you add to your website might not be. This includes images, tables, multimedia, forms, documents, etc. While creating and editing your content, please follow guidelines on creating accessible web contentThis will save you time and effort when you begin validating your content for accessibility later. 

Step 2a: Automated accessibility review

Once you have finished creating website content in the Drupal staging environment and have a near-final version of your website, you will need to validate the accessibility of this content to ensure no accessibility issues were introduced. SF State provides access to an automated assessment tool called Compliance Sheriff that will scan through all pages on your website and provide you with a report on the accessibility of your content. You may either request an automated report or request an account so you may re-run your own reports as you correct issues. Please note that the automated accessibility tool can only test for about 20-30% of the accessibility checkpoints . A manual review is needed for a complete accessibility review (see below).

Step 2b: Manual accessibility review

Once your website has passed the automated checks, the next step is to perform a manual verification of your website. The automated tool cannot test for all accessibility checkpoints, so human verification is needed. This is an optional step for you since the ATI team will conduct manual testing when you submit your website for review. However, if you would like to perform this review yourself, you may use the Website Manual Evaluation Summary (WMES) template.

The ATI team will use the same process as steps 2a & 2b above, so please ensure you have fixed the automated assessment errors before submitting your website for review. 

When you are happy with your site and are ready to move it to production, you may submit a request via the ITS Service Catalog


Requests for exemptions to the SF State web accessibility standards are rarely granted. Exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis and limited to mission critical university activities. If granted, exemptions are only valid for a specific, fixed and reasonable period of time, not to exceed one year. Please contact us if you need an exemption. 

Digital Content Exemptions 

If our accessibility report indicates major accessibility issues with the documents on your website that might be difficult to fix within a short time frame, departments need to create a Document Accessibility Plan, submit it to the SF State ATI Team, and place an Interim Accessibility Statement on the affected website. Please contact us for further information.

Interim Accessibility Statement

SF State's Web Accessibility Guidelines require that all digital content be accessible. In a situation where accessibility barriers are identified and cannot be immediately remedied, the website owner needs to provide an accessibility statement that provides alternative methods of accessing the content for those who need it.

The documents on this website/webpage might not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. We are working to fix these accessibility barriers by [date]. If you experience difficulty in accessing this content, please contact [department contact information] and we will provide you with accessible alternatives.

DPRC is available to consult if departments need assistance in providing these accessible alternatives.