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Web Communication Out of the office

Out of the office

There will be multiple team members either on vacation or out of the office September 4 – 6, 2018. Open Lab will continue as scheduled on September 7, 2018.

If you need any urgent items addressed, feel free to contact Holly Sitzmann (

Web Communication Update

Good afternoon. As many of you know, WSU’s Web Communication team is currently undergoing some changes. With the departure of Jeremy Felt and Stephen Locker, as well as the reassignment of Clint Young, we currently have little capacity to focus on new web features and site builds. Instead, our team will primarily be focusing on maintenance of current systems right now.

As with any transition, there will be some hiccups and pain points. We hope to keep those to a minimum. If you encounter any issues, have questions or want to learn something new, please visit us at open lab every Friday morning or fill out our contact form

University Marketing and Communications remains deeply committed to maintaining a strong web presence. Updates regarding the Web Communication team will be posted here.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Events site update

The WSU Events site was recently overhauled to provide an improved experience for visitors and users alike. Feedback is welcome and appreciated as the site continues to be developed!

New design

The most obvious change is an updated design. All events for the given day are displayed in the home page header, a search field and filters for viewing events by type or campus are provided below that, and a curated set of events is featured in the body.

All other pages include the given day’s events in the footer, and the entire site has a persistent footer with a calendar for quickly viewing which days have events, “Submit an Event” and “Contact Us” buttons, and a mark that links back to the home page.

Event entry

The new event submission form was designed to be more intuitive and easier to use. Built using WP Event Calendar as a base, some additional fields were added for capturing further details visitors might expect to see.

The venue and organizer entry processes in the previous system led to the creation of multiple duplicates, so the new system offers a simpler interface for both.

  • For venues, there is now a list of buildings to select from, and a “Notes” field for entering more specific details (like a room number, for example).
    • If you don’t see your building listed, or notice that the name of a building isn’t quite correct, please don’t hesitate to contact us about it!
  • For organizer information, there are fields for entering a “Name”, “Email”, and “Phone Number”.

A completely new set of fields is available for creating a call to action link. These are optional and can be used for purposes like linking to a registration or RSVP form.

Users of the previous site might notice that “Tags” and “Categories” have been dropped in favor of “Types”. The “University Organization” taxonomy has been updated, too, and between these two changes, a majority of use cases for “Tags” and “Categories” from the old system are accounted for.

Event feeds

As with the previous site, the new site serves as a system-wide calendar and offers API endpoints that can be used for displaying specific subsets of events on any site.

For sites on the WSUWP Platform, the WSUWP Content Syndicate Events plugin is still the easiest way to display a feed of events. Support for the “Type” taxonomy has been added, and the documentation will be updated to include instructions on how to pull a feed by “Type” soon!

Using Browser Accessibility Tools to Audit Websites Workshop

Monday, June 25, 3 – 4 p.m.
Spark Academic Innovation Hub 327 (Pullman) and live-streamed (All Campuses)

This advanced workshop is for website owners, web publishers, web content creators, and anyone who has learned the fundamentals of web accessibility and now seeks to learn how to test a website to ensure it is compliant with web accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG 2.0, AA).

During this workshop, participants will learn how to use web browser accessibility tools to:

  • Ensure that web pages and/or websites are in compliance
  • Identify web accessibility warnings and issues
  • Understand the meaning of web accessibility warnings and issues
  • Determine the best way to fix issues to ensure and improve web accessibility

Register Now

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018

May 17th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is to get those developing electronic and information technology thinking and learning about making technology accessible and inclusive for users with varying abilities.

On May 17th, take an hour to experience first-hand the impact of digital accessibility.

Mandatory web accessibility training is online

The online web accessibility training is available for all web publishers at Washington State University. The yearly training is designed to help increase awareness and knowledge around web accessibility. The training is mandatory in accordance with Executive Policy 7 and the Business Policies and Procedures Manual 85.55.

Training details

Training link:

Who needs to take the training: All web developers, content publishers, editors, domain owners, or anyone who has any other role in updating WSU web content.

Training must be completed yearly.

Web support and community

The WSU web community offers services to help you make your websites accessible. In addition to online training, you can take advantage of monthly workshops, online resources, and in-person support.

Web communication site

The web communication site provides accessibility resources for content creators, as well as scheduling and registration information for training sessions and workshops.

Web accessibility workshops

Strong working knowledge of accessibility issues and requirements is essential for web communicators. These free workshops keep your knowledge up to date.

Web open lab

Fridays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
ITB 2025, Pullman campus

Drop in to exchange ideas and get answers to your questions. Web Communications staff lead these weekly sessions. All are welcome to attend.

Online communication platform

Connect with more than 150 members of the WSU web community on the Slack web communication channel. Join conversations, ask questions, and share solutions to accessibility challenges.

Intro to WordPress – March 2018 Edition

This will be a general introduction training. Whether you are new to WordPress here at WSU or just need a refresher, everyone is welcome to attend.

WHEN: Thursday, March 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

If you are on the Pullman campus – WHERE: ITB 2025 Please come in person.

If you are not on the Pullman campus

Please join this meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (669) 224-3412

Access Code: 160-038-677

Upcoming WSU Spine 2.0.0 release

As part of our ongoing effort to make the web at Washington State University accessible, the default template provided by the WSU Spine is being updated to meet WCAG 2.0 AA.

This 2.0.0 release will be a breaking change and will not be pushed automatically to sites that are using Development is in progress on the WSU Spine GitHub repository and we expect to release 2.0.0 on Monday, February 26.

Testing on custom sites can begin immediately with the following assets:


The WSU Spine Parent theme in WordPress will be updated to support version 2.0.0 shortly after release.

Highlights from WSU Spine 2.0.0:

  • Add screen reader shortcuts for main content and navigation to example HTML.
  • Add global styles for screen reader shortcuts.
  • Apply the default Spine color to #glue to help avoid false positives when automatically scanning for accessibility issues.
  • Remove handling of a transparent Spine.
  • Darken default body color to #2a3033.
  • Set body text to the root element font size, effectively increasing the default font size from 14px to 16px.
  • Remove em fallbacks for header font size.
  • Set line-height to 1.1 instead of 100% on small
  • Fix input styles so that font size matches root by default.
  • Set the default input color slightly darker – #717171 on #ffffff.
  • Re-introduce default browser :focus handling (outline).
  • Show default underline on anchors in main.
  • Restore :focus outline on Spine action tab buttons.
  • Improve the experience of the Spine search input field.
  • Avoid trapping a keyboard user in the Spine search input.
  • Fix and accurately describe the social media directory link.
  • Hide Spine navigation from screen readers when focus is on an open action tab.
  • Add more descriptive link text for share options in Spine.
  • Append Spine action sections to li rather than parent section to make screen reader behavior and keyboard navigation more natural.
  • Fix contrast issue with social sharing anchors.

If you have any questions or find any issues, please leave feedback on the WSU Spine GitHub repository, in the WSU Web Slack, or via our contact form.