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Assistive technology for the WOU Web site General information (see below) | If you need assistance | Other hints and tips

General information

Our tools

  • Western Oregon University uses the Usablenet Assistive (UA) Web accessibility platform (use the text only link near the top of each page on the main WOU site). This service improves web accessibility, compliance, and support for people with disabilities including users of assistive technologies. The interface allows individuals to change font and background colors as well as text size.

Addressing compliancy standards

  • By complementing ongoing, long-term accessibility requirements, Usablenet Assistive (UA) creates a dynamically generated text-only accessible view of Western Oregon University's web site (addressing compliancy standards such as ADA, Section 508, W3C etc). The information displayed is not from a 'second' site, but is a dynamically created accessible view of currently posted material on the WOU Web site. This improves the ability of the university to use technology to quickly deliver information to all students, faculty and staff. This service also actively improves the accessibility of the site by addressing others technical issues (example: making JavaScript pages accessible for users of assistive technologies that do not support JavaScript, etc).

Why this technology

  • Western Oregon University's choice to implement Usablenet Assistive was influenced by their past and present long-term commitment and involvement with a large number of public and private institutions of varied sizes. A short list of Usablenet Assistive clients includes the University System of Georgia, University of Virginia, University of Illinois, Delta Air Lines, Hilton Hotels, NJ Transit, UNESCO, Virgin Cosmetics, the British Council and the cities of New York, Miami, and Sacramento.

If you need assistance with online content

The Office of Disability Services located at the university also has services and technologies to help ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to materials at Western Oregon University.

To request accessibility assistance contact the Office of Disability Services:

Please note: UCS does not provide support for or recommend user hardware and software.

Requirements for accessible content

  • Western Oregon University aims to provide accessible content in accordance to federal state and legal requirements. If you do not feel that information on the Web site does not meet these requirements you may contact the webmaster (please include the url and the problem encountered).

Hints and tips for accessible Web browsing

We have tried to provide a series of links to the most common and user friendly software with specific features for Web accessibility.

The Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers

Accessibility Features in Firefox: very highly recommended

Firefox, a visual browser with accessibility features. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems. Several extensions (such as Link Toolbar, iCITA Accessibility Extension and Text Zoom) which enhance accessibility are available for Firefox.

Internet explorer accessibility tutorials

  • Internet Explorer 7 Accessibility Tutorials: These tutorials provide step by step instructions for adjusting the accessibility settings in Internet Explorer 7. Steps are provided for both mouse and keyboard actions.
  • Internet Explorer 6 Accessibility Tutorials: These tutorials provide step by step instructions for adjusting the accessibility options in Internet Explorer 6. Instructions are provided for both mouse and keyboard implementation.

Other recommended software with accessibility features

  • Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays. Versions for Unix, VMS, Windows 95/98/NT (not 3.1 or 3.11), DOS (386 or higher) and OS/2 EMX. Macintosh versions in beta test.
  • Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth. Versions for Unix, OS/2, BeOS, Macintosh OSX. Window version in beta test.
  • Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user style sheets, and image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.
  • VoiceOver, a screen reader built into Macintosh OS X v10.4 (Tiger).
  • Emacspeak (freeware for Linux)
  • Window-Eyes, a screen reader for Windows
  • JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
  • IBM Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.

Notes for the hints and tips section - if you have other suggestions or find that this information needs to be updated - please email with specific examples and urls when possible


Office of Disability Services (503) 838-8250 VTTY; fax (503) 838-8721 | or e-mail:
Location: APSC room 405 Remote IP: ((none!))



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