Accessibility Primer

A quick overview of what accessibility is, your roles and responsibilities in maintaining accessible content, and where to go if you need help.

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility means making your services available to as wide an audience as possible, including people with disabilities. For a service to be accessible, people with disabilities must be able to use the service in an equally effective and integrated manner as people without disabilities.

This means being proactive in developing accessible content. It's not sufficient to merely be available to assist people in response to a request, we must seek to make our resources as available as possible to everyone before it causes a barrier to access.

Some common techniques for ensuring digital accessibility include:

  • Making sure your images have text-based alternative descriptions 
  • Verifying that your color palettes are understandable to people with limited color vision
  • Adding captions to videos 
  • Verifying that people can navigate your content in its entirety can solely with the keyboard

What Do I Need to Do?

Everyone at the University of Oregon who creates or maintains digital content or services is responsible for making sure that content or service is accessible. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Websites
  • Files and graphics uploaded to websites
  • Course material on Canvas or other digital learning platforms
  • Videos
  • All services and content provided by third-party vendors.

The first step in making your digital resources accessible is learning about how to make your technology accessible. For a quick-start guide on the most important accessibility considerations, see the Basic Accessibility Evaluation. For a deeper dive, the University of Oregon provides a number of reference guides on the most common accessibility techniques

The reference materials provide recommended ways of addressing any accessibility barriers. If you find you have a lot of accessibility barriers, it is recommended to first focus on newly created content, then high-traffic content. Any legacy or archived material might qualify for an exemption under the ICT Accessible Technology Procedures, but must be addressed on request. 

Once you have learned the accessibility guidelines to follow, please see the Tools & Testing section for how to put this into practice. 

If you are involved in procuring services from vendors, those services must also conform to the university's accessible technology policies. Learn more about accessible procurement

What If I Need More Help?

The ICT Accessibility Program is here to help!

We are also glad to advise on any issues or questions you may have regarding websites, hosted documents, online meetings, course instructions, and guidance on accessible procurement. 

See the full list of services offered by the ICT Accessibility Program.

If, after reviewing the other material on this website, you still need questions, please email and we will point you in the right direction.