Accessibility of Web Content

All public-facing content, and most non-public facing content, made available on our websites and social media channels must meet1 standards and guidelines outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These standards were refreshed in January, 2017 to adopt the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 levels A and AA.

University of Hawaiʻi Executive Policy 2.210 Use and Management of Information Technology Resources identifies these standards as requirements for our Commitment to Access (III.G.).

Meeting Accessibility Requirements for Web Pages describes some of the accessibility requirements for web pages.


We recommend using Google Forms (part of Google@UH) for many information gathering needs, including surveys and scholarship applications. The University of Colorado has an informative page describing the Accessibility of Google Forms .

Non-Native Files

Not only do the requirements apply to web pages, but most of them also apply to non-web content2, such as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other files.

In our experience, it is often easier and less time consuming to convert non-native web content such as PDFs into web pages rather than to go through the process of making those files compliant. Thus, we recommend making the conversion to web format, and providing a link to the non-compliant file as a download on the respective web pages.

Furthermore, providing web-native content increases accessibility in that not all site visitors may be able to open non-native documents because they have not purchased or downloaded the software necessary to open such files.

The 'gold standard' of automated accessibility checking tools for PDFs is PDF Accessibility Checker . It is provided free of charge by the Swiss non-profit «Access for All», and may be downloaded from their PDF Lab . Unfortunately, they do not provide a Mac version.

Accessibility Training Resources

PDF Remediation

Note that these PDF remediation videos require a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Pro (or DC) and not the free Reader product; see the ITS Site License website for information about obtaining a copy of Acrobat Pro.

Please contact the Web Office if you have any questions.