Digital Accessibility Concepts

Ensuring the accessibility of digital content like a web page, an enewsletter, or a PDF, is critical to Portland State University’s efforts toward creating more inclusive and accessible online spaces. Not only does PSU’s Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility policy require that public-facing digital content meet accessibility guidelines; the choice to apply accessibility best practices to all digital content authoring allows for greater accessibility, usability, and search engine optimization for all users.

Consider the following facts:

Our help articles on several key digital accessibility concepts will guide you through the fundamentals of creating accessible digital content, explaining why each concept is important to accessible digital design, how each concept should be implemented, and where each concept might be most relevant.


Concepts Covered


Concepts Covered

Alternative (Alt) Text

  • Differentiating background and decorative figures from content-conveying images

  • Handling complex images (such as graphs)


  • Verifying minimum color contrast

  • Avoiding reliance on color to convey information

Form Fields

  • Implementing and testing tab order on a form

  • Detecting and notifying a user of errors in a form

  • Using form labels properly

  • Creating accessible forms using authoring tools


  • Implementing true heading structure


  • Creating descriptive links

  • Formatting links


  • Using legible, sans serif fonts

  • Utilizing accessible font styles, types and sizes

  • Using sufficient white space

For more information on creating new accessible documents and forms or remediating PDFs in situations where the source document may be unavailable, please review our Document Accessibility help articles.

Please let the IT Accessibility Team know if we can be of assistance. If you have any questions or concerns, please email or submit an accessibility ticket via