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What is Accessiblity? 

Accessibility is "the usability of a product, service, environment or facility by people with the widest range of capabilities." -- ISO 9241-20 Ergonomics of human-system interaction.

This includes making products independently usable for people with disabilities, who might be using assistive technologies.  It also benefits people, including yourself, who occasionally use the products under less-than-optimal conditions.

If your site or service is used in programs and activities of the University, it has to be accessible.  The Stanford University Online Accessibility Policy details the requirements and responsibilities of providing accessible Electronic and Information Technology (EIT).

How do I know if my service is accessible?

Whether you are developing a custom Stanford application or purchasing a service from a vendor, you need to ensure that your site or service meets accessibility requirements.

First make yourself familiar with accessibility requirements. This online concepts training is available to anyone with SUNet ID.

Then conduct automated and manual checks on the products you are developing or buying.

Contact SOAP if you have questions.

Which tools are available?

Stanford has purchased accessibility services from Level Access (formerly SSB Bart Group) to help Stanford achieve its Accessibility goals.  The suite of products available includes:

  • Access University - online training covering basic accessibility concepts.
  • Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) ( - site scanner/crawler and knowledge base, and its companion tool, Access Assistant. Use these to evaluate your site for accessibility compliance or violation. Training materials may be found on the Accessibility Tool (AMP) training page.
  • Access Advisor - pre-paid accessibility consulting service.  SOAP or University IT will initiate your requests. Also contact SOAP for requirements to add your trained department representative for direct access to Access Advisor.

The Stanford Online Accessibility Program (SOAP) manages Stanford's AMP service, which is centrally funded by University IT and University Communications.  These services are available to all SUNet ID holders at no charge.  The Stanford web development community also cost-shares a subscription to an alternative tool called SiteImprove, which provides additional content-related features (such as Search Engine Optimization and spellchecking), but is less powerful in detecting Accessibility problems and providing guidance to address them.  Contact SOAP if you are interested in cost-sharing/using SiteImprove.

Last modified: 
July 7, 2020