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Digital Access – Think. Explore. Learn. Share.

The Basics of Digital Access

In every post and online interaction, think, learn, and share about digital access and inclusion. Every day during the year include access from the start and spread awareness.

Accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. But, various barriers often prevent equal access and limit equal opportunity for people with disabilities in digital content and online interactions. 

Everyone can help and has a part in promoting and providing equitable digital access to all. Accessibility is not all “techie” or only for the designer or developer. Various resources and tools are available that “break down” best practices and can guide you in simple quick checks for digital access.

Accessibility should be included from the start and built-in throughout the process of design, development, and management to promote digital inclusion for the more than one billion people with disabilities worldwide. Ensure the purchase and provision of third-party digital products, technology, and services are also accessible.

Keep in mind that digital access is not a one-time checkbox, given the diversity of technology and users together with the continual, often critical, changing nature of digital content. It is vital to have accessibility contacts and policies in place.

Be aware of your legal responsibilities for digital access under various U.S. Federal and state laws that may be applicable. Keep in mind that while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has no specific technical standards for digital access, the ADA is a civil rights law that covers “effective communication,” “equal opportunity,” and “non-discrimination” for individuals with disabilities.

Web Accessibility Tips in Brief

  • Get started.
    • Set goals, plan, and check access from start to finish + re-checks.
    • Have access policies, including for purchasing.
  • Provide accessibility statement.
    • Link called “Accessibility” available in footer of website.
    • Page identifies your access commitment and contact if issues.
  • Everyone can and has a role.
    • Font:  Sans serif (i.e. Arial, Helvetica, Calibri).
    • Color contrast and avoid use of color only for information.
    • Keyboard navigable: unplug your mouse and use tab key.
    • Text description for images (alt-text).
    • Magnification to 200% and reflow of content on mobile.
    • Captions for videos and transcripts for audio.
    • Links: clearly identifies what and where if read by itself (no ”click here”).
    • Social media: Camel case for hashtags (i.e. #BeAccessible)

Featured Resources on Digital Access

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has consistently taken the position that digital access is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).