Penn State Libraries, Siteimprove to partner on Web accessibility

Penn State University Libraries will be collaborating with Minneapolis-based software company Siteimprove on the beta release of a new software module for identifying and correcting website accessibility issues based on WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

Since August 2011, Penn State's Libraries have used Siteimprove’s SiteCheck service to quality check their websites for spelling mistakes, broken links, and lighter accessibility issues, following the current Section 508 recommendations. Siteimprove will collaborate with Penn State prior to releasing their next generation of the Siteimprove accessibility module, a cloud-based service that follows the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines and introduces an intelligent workflow to effectively identify and remedy website accessibility issues.

The Libraries plan to implement the beta module in December. The public release is expected in early 2012.

This collaboration is a continuation of initiatives at Penn State that for more than 20 years have provided assistive technologies to students, faculty and staff, and is part of the ongoing efforts that put in place the additional technologies, procedures and policies that will help the University continue to meet a strong commitment to access, including online resources.

“Penn State University Libraries are committed to making our website accessible to all users,” said Lisa German, associate dean for Collections, Information and Access Services in the University Libraries. “With more than 7,000 Web pages and 200-plus authors creating content daily, we need a system that can verify that our Web content meets important accessibility guidelines. The automated, individualized reporting structure of Siteimprove should allow our authors to identify and correct accessibility issues. This partnership with Siteimprove is an important step in making sure our website’s content is accessible to all.”

According to Peter Dam-Johnsen, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Siteimprove, “Making websites accessible can be a difficult task due to the fast pace of technology development and adoption, regardless of well-intended policies and legislation. For organizations hosting websites from a few hundred to several thousand pages, manual monitoring is time and cost prohibitive. Siteimprove offers a solution through its automated Web content analysis and structured error correction workflow."

For more information about this collaboration, contact Binky Lush at 814-865-9842 and binky@psu.edu or Peter Dam-Johnsen at pdj@siteimprove.com.

About Penn State and the University Libraries

Penn State, founded in 1855, is a multi-campus public research university serving more than 90,000 students from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. See www.psu.edu.

The Penn State University Libraries consist of 36 libraries at 23 locations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the direction of Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications. See www.libraries.psu.edu.

About Siteimprove

Siteimprove has been offering automated website governance and quality assurance solutions since 2003. Its office in Minneapolis has been in operation since 2007, providing services to the United States and Canada and is currently working with more than 250 higher education organizations. Its SiteCheck has 1,200 subscribers that include universities, government agencies, private sector, hospitals and more. Its Internet-based website services accommodate Web teams of any size and specialize in website governance in the areas of analytics, internal site search, content quality assurance, website monitoring and search engine optimization. Siteimprove's excellent client service assigns a dedicated account manager and technical support system to assist each account's Web maintenance team.

Last Updated October 25, 2011