Accessibility Workgroup

Educational accessibility is foundational to creating an equitable learning community and is essential to student success and completion. The Cypress College Accessibility Workgroup aims to build community through inclusion by sharing information about and supporting universal access so that everyone can participate in the learning environment to the greatest extent possible.

The Accessibility Workgroup was established to address and support institutional accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Cypress College is committed to creating a barrier-free learning environment for all students and employees and understands that universal access is an institutional responsibility encompassing all faculty, administrators, classified staff, and hourly workers.


The Accessibility Workgroup is charged with addressing accessibility compliance of information and communication technology (ICT) as per Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Furthermore, the Workgroup provides training on access standards and the requirements for developing accessible documents, communication, and technology. 


The workgroup’s purpose is to promote the use of accessible electronic materials and technology and to advance awareness of accessibility laws and standards.  


The Accessibility Workgroup functions under the Cypress College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and embodies representation from various constituencies and programs/departments.


  • Celeste Phelps, Director of Disability Support Services
  • Marc Posner, Director of Campus Communications


  • Anastasia Thrift, Project Coordinator
  • Angela Sardan, Career Center Coordinator
  • Cari Jorgensen, Web Content Specialist
  • Deborah Michelle, DSS Counselor
  • Marcie Kagawa, Communications Specialist
  • Steve Auger, DSS Alternate Media Specialist
  • Troy Davis, Dean of Counseling and Student Development
  • Virgil Adams, Human Services Faculty

Monthly Access Tips

November: Add an accessibility statement to all event announcements.

Equity and inclusion mean hosting events that are free from barriers so that everyone can participate fully. All college event/activity announcements made through flyers (paper and web), email blasts, social media event pages, etc. should include a statement related to disability access. We’ve made it easy for you! Please use one of these.

“Cypress College is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation to its programs, services, and activities. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made five days prior to the event to (insert sponsoring department contact, phone number, and email address).”

Have limited space? Use this one instead.

“Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made five days prior to the event to (insert sponsoring department contact, phone number, and email address).”

If the contact person from the sponsoring department receives a request for accommodation, they may contact DSS for assistance, if needed.

December: Create email images with accessibility in mind.

We understand how easy it is to generate an image from an event flyer, insert it into the body of an email, and then press send. While this technique is, indeed, quick and simple, recipients who use assistive technology, such as screen readers, cannot read the important information in your image. When embedding an event flyer image into an email, please make sure to add the same text (the important stuff!) into the body of the email, either on top of or underneath the image. This will allow individuals who use screen readers to access the same information.


Section 508 Federal Electronic and Information Technology

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 requires access to electronic and information technology. Agencies must ensure that technology is accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities to the extent it does not pose an “undue burden.”  Section 508 speaks to various means for disseminating information, including computers, software, and electronic office equipment.

CCC Accessibility Center

The CCC Accessibility Center proactively assesses the California community college system’s web and information technology accessibility needs and offers services, guidance and technical assistance to help colleges in realizing an accessible technology environment.

Accessibility and Open Educational Resources (OERs)

OERs are accessible online digital educational materials, tools, or techniques that are offered freely and/or through open licensing. Access OERs here.

Accessibility Standard Memo

Read the Accessibility Standard Memo from former CCCCO Chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, 2018.

Accessing PDF Documents with Assistive Technology

CCCCO Information and Communication Technology and Instructional Material Accessibility Standard

National Center for Accessible Media


SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution that allows users to automatically convert documents into accessible formats.

The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.

The DO-IT Center strives to

  • increase the success of people with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers;
  • promote the application of universal design to physical spaces, information technology, instruction, and services;
  • freely distribute online content, publications, and videos for use in presentations, exhibits, and the classroom; and
  • provide resources for students with disabilities, K-12 educators, postsecondary faculty and administrators, librarians, employers, parents, and mentors.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

A VPAT is a table that describes the proposed electronic information and technology (EIT) hardware, software or online service usability by people with limited capacities to see, hear, or exercise muscular control. The VPAT was developed the Information Technology Industry Council and the federal government to address Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool)

WAVE is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. WAVE can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content.

WAVE Browser Extensions

The WAVE browser extensions allow you to evaluate web content for accessibility issues directly within your browser.

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List

Evaluation tools are software programs or online services that help determine if web content meets accessibility guidelines.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

WCAG is a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Web “content” generally refers to the information in a webpage or web application, including natural information such as text, images, and sounds, and code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.