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College of health and human development: Accessible technology Initiative

Online Self-Help Materials for Constructing an Accessible Website at CSUN

Welcome to the Accessible Technology website for the CSUN College of Health and Human Development.  This page is designed to provide you with resources and step-by-step procedures to support HHD faculty and staff in producing accessible web-based materials. One of the ways in which you can help make your web resources accessible is to use the specially designed webpage templates, which you download below (this page was created using an accessible template). These templates provide an attractive design that is consistent with the look and feel of the CSUN home page, and they provide valuable links to CSUN resources. An added advantage is that the CSUN logo and links to the People Finder, A to Z, etc., are all managed by the IT department. That means that when changes to those links do occur, you template-basd webpages will be automatically updated.

If you have questions or need assistance with any of the resources on this page, please contact the HHD Accessible Technology Coordinator, Elio Spinello. If you need help with a departmental website, please contact Jean O'Sullivan.

Previews of Accessible Faculty Web Page Templates

Below, you will find the links to previews of the various faculty web page templates that are available to download below. Once downloaded, these templates will work seamlessly with Contribute to help you construct an accessible faculty or program website.

Web template examples:

Broken Links Resources

PPT Slides (PDF Format) from 10/17/2012 Workshop for HHD Dept. Webmasters


Step 1: Setting up your account

From an off-campus computer (or a wireless connection on-campus)

Download, install, and set up Cisco VPN to access to Webdrive

  1. VPN PC Instructions or VPN Mac Instruction (Also read the VPN overview page)
  2. Map your Webdrive:-Webdrive Instructions
  3. Confirm that you have a folder named public_html on your Webdrive (if not, contact the HHD helpdesk at x3912).
  4. Create a folder inside of your public_html folder named "Templates" (make sure the "T" is capitalized). If you need help, please see the step-by-step instructions.

From an on-campus computer

If your computer is on Microsoft Active Directory, your Webdrive should already be mapped and ready to go, and there will be no need for the VPN program. If your computer prompts you for your CSUN login at startup, it is probably on Active Directory. To confirm, go to My Computer and look for your Webdrive. If you do not see it, or if your PC is not on Active Directory, please contact the HHD HelpDesk at (818) 677-3912. A helpdesk technician will convert your computer to Active Directory and help you install and configure the software you will need.

Step 2: Download/Install Webpage Templates to your Account

To install the accessible webpage templates for use with Contribute, you will need to first create a folder on your Webdrive called "Templates", inside of the public_html folder.  In other words, your Webdrive should contain a folder named public_html, with another folder inside of it named "Templates".

To install the templates for use in Contribute, you just need to save them into the "Templates" folder created above. The easiest way to do that is by right-clicking on each download link below and then selecting Save Target As, and then navigating to the /public_html/Templates folder. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR INTERNET EXPLORER users: make sure to change the filename from .htm to .dwt before pressing the SAVE button. For example, when saving the bio template, Explorer will change the filename from biotemplate.dwt to biotemplate.htm -- simply backspace over the .htm and change it to .dwt.  Mac users and Firefox users will not need to do this.

Download Faculty Bio Template (Crimson) (useful as a home page and entry point for links to your classes).

Download Faculty Bio Template (Sand) (useful as a home page and entry point for links to your classes).

Download Syllabus Template (just download it once and you can use it as the basis for multiple course syllabi)

Step 3: Installing/Configuring Macromedia (Adobe) Contribute

Macromedia Contribute is the user-friendly program recommended for managing your website. Contribute provides seamless access to your webpage and makes editing your webpages as easy as working in a browser environment. Additionally, the accessible CSUN templates are especially designed to work seamlessly with Contribute.

Instructions for downloading/installing/configuring Contribute

After Contribute is installed and the connection is made to your web account, you are ready to begin building webpages. The accessible templates you downloaded in Step 2, provide an attractive layout that is not only consistent with the look and feel of the CSUN website, they are also compliant with accessibility guidelines for viewing by individuals with disabilities.

To build a new webpage using a template, simply select FILE - NEW from the Contribute menu. You will be presented with a list of options in the left frame. Expand the Templates option by clicking the plus sign next to it. You are then able to select a CSUN template from which to build your new webpage.The templates currently include Faculty Bio (useful as a faculty home page with links to course materials) and a Syllabus page.  After you select the template, press the OK button and the template will be loaded into Contribute. You can then begin to fill in the placeholders with your actual content. When you are ready to publish the page, press the Publish button on the toolbar. To edit and existing page, press the Edit button on the toolbar and then press Publish when you are through making changes.

Step 4: Using Contribute to Create Webpages

To begin using Adobe Contribute, please consult this PDF quickstart guide for using Contribute at CSUN to create instructional materials.The quickstart guide is provided courtesy of the CSUN College of Humanities.


Questions or comments: Contact elio.spinello@csun.edu or jean.osullivan@csun.edu