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Accessibility

An overview of best accessibility practices.

Overview

Accessibility in the context of education calls to mind at least two definitions:

  • A document, presentation, link, site, or digital object that folks can easily discover and connect to.
  • A document, presentation, link, site, or digital object that folks can fully engage with—read, write, think, react, respond—because it has been intentionally and inclusively designed for a range of users.

Intentional and inclusive design for accessibility means discarding practices that center able-bodied perspectives and view disabled folks, neurodiverse folks, non-traditional learners and more as aberrations to a so-called norm. It also means going beyond federal and state laws or guidelines, carefully investigating our assumptions, and looking beyond our own bodies/selves.

The design practices in this Research Guide are just a starting point. They do not represent a complete overview of moves one should take to make documents, presentations, links, sites, and digital objects accessible. Rather, they represent initial steps and will hopefully urge staff, instructional designers, faculty, and program managers to learn and do more. 

The organizations linked below promote guidelines and recommendations for web accessibility, and provide training and tools useful to explore.