11b. Memo

Accessibility Updates External Port Website and Commission Meetings Portal

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                        Item No.          11b 
BRIEFING ITEM                            Date of Meeting        July 12, 2022 
DATE:     July 5, 2022 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Kathy Roeder, External Relations Communications Director 
Michelle Hart, Commission Clerk 
SUBJECT:  Bringing Access Equity to the Port’s Website Report 
The Port’s website is the first and usually last stop for any member of the public looking to
research our services, opportunities, and policies. In this briefing we will update Commissioners
on changes to content, design, and features to ensure that our website and Commission
Meetings Portal are accessible to all members of the public.
On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to “prohibit discrimination
against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public
accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and
services.” (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).
The Port of Seattle has made a purposeful and concerted effort to make its facilities like Seattle-
Tacoma International Airport (SEA) accessible to people with disabilities and is committed to
becoming the most accessible airport in the country. In 2021 we began investing in a third-party
effort to improve digital accessibility on our external website and Commission Meetings Portal,
the primary portals for information on the Port and its facilities.
The current website was launched in 2018 and is an important communication asset for the Port
of Seattle and SEA Airport. The webpage www.portseattle.org experiences approximately 1
million average page views per month. An overwhelming majority of those visitors, as many as
75 percent, come for information about using the airport.
In addition to airport customer service, the external Port of Seattle website also plays an essential
component of the Port’s public outreach and disclosure strategy. It is the primary platform for
conducting business and providing information to the region’s residents and visitors, public
officials, businesses, and partners of the Port’s services and programs, providing services such as: 
• Educating the public and the community on how the Port benefits the region 

Template revised April 12, 2018.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11b                                 Page 2 of 3 
Meeting Date: July 12, 2022 
• Informing constituents of opportunities to provide feedback and outreach including
Commission meetings
• Providing information on all port facilities and amenities, including online maps, parking,
incident response, and accommodations for people with disabilities 
• Port events including commission meetings, outreach events, WMBE business training,
and educational opportunities like Port 101 
• Online bill payment and conducting business with the Port 
• Information about accessibility in Port facilities
• Information about revenue producing facilities and centers like parking, conference
center, moorage, and real estate tenants
• Public access to information about complaints and the public disclosure process 
Audit Background and Findings 
The Port’s External Relations team commissioned Open Doors Organization and Ablr.com to
perform an audit of the existing website in April 2022. We focused on the external website for
this audit because of the wide variety of content types on the page, such as widgets, forms, image
carousels, PDFs, and text copy. To make this assessment the pages were tested manually by
people with disabilities using a variety of browsers and screen readers.  The website was also
tested using automated accessibility software developed by Ablr. 
The audit detected 27 critical issues, 107 series, and zero blocker issues that the Port must
address to be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, the current
standard for Washington state. Blocker issues are defined as a design flaw that would make it
impossible to conduct a task using our website. Due to the templated nature of the website, one
change in the code base may resolve multiple errors. Examples of changes expected to be
complete by October 2022 include adding alternative text to images, and fixing headers to make
screen reader navigation more efficient. 
The External Relations and ICT will need to also collaborate on design changes related to color
contrast, the simplicity of widgets and forms, carousels, and other topics that require hard coding
and navigation. We will implement these changes in 2022 and 2023. 
Future External Relations and ICT budgets will now need to fund regular accessibility testing for
all digital properties in the future. This plan should include: 
• Purchase a subscription to automated accessibility testing software so the team can
continue with quarterly review; 
• Continued testing every two years to meet the evolving and changing WCAG standards; 
• Accessibility testing for the FlySEA app and VendorConnect; 
• Testing and maintenance of other websites and digital properties built in the future; 

Template revised September 22, 2016.


COMMISSION AGENDA – Briefing Item No. 11b                                 Page 3 of 3 
Meeting Date: July 12, 2022 

Commission Meetings Portal Highlights 
Separate from the audit project, the Port’s meetings portal vendor, Seattle City Colleges Cable
Television (SCCTV), who has supported the Commission’s meetings website since prior to 2008,
has embarked with the Commission Office on a redesign of the site. The goal of the redesigned
site being increased ADA accessibility, language translation capability, website search engine
visibility,  mobile  device  functionality,  video  access  tools,  and  other  application-friendly
capabilities.  The Commission Meetings Portal now meets most of the criteria of WCAG2.2
standards.  An instructional video of the redesigned site features is available at: Commission
Meetings Portal Site Improvements.
The Accessibility Report produced by Open Doors and Ablr can be found at: Port of Seattle
Accessibility Audit. 
(1) Presentation 

Template revised September 22, 2016.


Limitations of Translatable Documents

PDF files are created with text and images are placed at an exact position on a page of a fixed size.
Web pages are fluid in nature, and the exact positioning of PDF text creates presentation problems.
PDFs that are full page graphics, or scanned pages are generally unable to be made accessible, In these cases, viewing whatever plain text could be extracted is the only alternative.