Shame on us if we let the wonders of educational technology and broadband lead to more inequality as opposed to less.

~ Eugene Sperling

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital, online, web, electronic and information technology (EIT), information and communication technology (ICT)...all of these describe digital environments and resources that must be designed in a way that is both accessible and usable for people with disabilities who use alternative means of access, like adaptive technology.

Typically well before a prospective student interacts with physical campus environments, they discover and explore its digital spaces. Prospective and current students interact regularly with websites, videos, audio files, learning management systems, electronic documents, online forms, Google applications, etc. Our obligation is and should be to make these materials accessible to all users. To this end, our digital content must be designed with accessibility in mind.

Digital accessibility is necessary for people with disabilities:

  • People who are blind
  • People who have visual impairments
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who have motor disabilities
  • People who have cognitive disabilities
  • People who are colorblind

Digital accessibility benefits everyone:

  • People who are older or aging
  • People for whom English is a second language
  • People using older or slower technologies
  • People who are new to using the web
  • People who use the web infrequently
  • People who use mobile and smart devices
Collection of four symbols representative of physical and cognitive accessibility: a person using a wheelchair, a human brain, human hands using sign language, and a person walking with a cane.

Digital Accessibility Basics

The following is the first portion of the Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series required for all site editors. This portion of the training, "Digital Accessibility: What and Why," provides a basic overview of why digital accessibility is so integral to equity and inclusion for people with disabilities. This and the remaining how-to portions of the training are available via the Digital Accessibility Training Opportunities web page.

Transcript for "Digital Accessibility, Part 1: What and Why" Video