When online content and experiences are accessible, it ensures that all users can benefit from the resources provided. Creating inclusive content will also make your content more usable for everyone.
Before content can effectively be made accessible, it’s necessary to have an understanding of what accessibility is and why it’s important. This page includes a number of resources to help you begin learning about accessibility!
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility focuses on making products, services, programs, and environments available and convenient to all potential users. Because most of these things are already available to a majority of people, providing that same availability to individuals with disabilities has become the center of such efforts. However, adjustments made to increase accessibility almost always benefit everyone, whether they experience disability or not.
For example, curb cuts were initially installed to make public sidewalks accessible to wheelchair users. While this adjustment has been very helpful to the target population, it has also been beneficial to individuals who aren’t confined to wheelchairs. The widespread implementation of curb cuts has ensured that bicycles, baby strollers, skateboards, and even pedestrians can now access sidewalks more easily.
Just as curb cuts and wheelchair ramps are necessary to wheelchair users, there are elements of technology that require adjustment to make them usable for everyone. These elements include electronic documents, websites, programs and software, video, audio, and other electronic formats.
Making technology accessible means making it available to users who experience a range of disabilities. For example, users with low vision require the use of screen readers or Braille devices. Deaf individuals require captions on videos and transcriptions of audio recordings.
There are a variety of people and tools on campus available to help you make your content more accessible. If you are new to accessibility or have any questions, please send us a message; we’re happy to help!
For a more comprehensive explanation of accessibility and its many elements, you can explore the resources below: