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 including on the third Thursday in May to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).
The Basics of Digital Access
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 that are 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, nature of digital content. It is vital to have accessibility contacts and accessibility 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.
Featured Resources on Digital Access from U.S. Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has consistently taken the position that digital access is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA – March 2022
- Dear Colleague Letter on Online Accessibility at Postsecondary Institutions – May 19, 2023
Featured Resources on Digital Access from ADA National Network
- Research Brief: Digital Access for Students in Higher Education and the ADA
- Research Brief: Digital Access and Title III of the ADA
- Investigating the Accessibility and Usability of Job Application Web Sites for Blind Users
- Disability Rights Today: Gil v. Winn-Dixie, 11th Circuit Decision on Web Access and the ADA
+ Court Decision Brief: Gil v. Winn-Dixie (2021)
- ADA Live! Web Accessibility in a Nutshell – Episode 65
- ADA Live! Web Accessibility and Resources – Episode 12
- Webinar: Accessible PDF Fillable Forms
- Webinar: Inclusive Imagery
- Webinar: Introduction to Website Accessibility
- Webinar: Accessible Social Media 2.0
- Webinar: The Wonderful World of Audio Description in 2022 – Getting Started, Discovering What is Out There, Enjoying the Process and the Product
- Course: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Course: Accessible Social Media
- Course: Document Accessibility
- Course: Presentation Accessibility
MORE: ADA National Network website (adata.org) for resources, publications, courses, webinars, training, and multimedia about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and digital access.
Contact your regional ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232 (toll-free).