In July, UW–Madison adopted a new Digital Accessibility Policy, which will guide university employees as we design and purchase accessible technology and share our work with the state and the world.
As the university implements the policy over the next several years, you may find you have to change how you think about digital documents and tools. Here are 3 things you and your unit can do to start making your work more accessible.
Work with your digital accessibility liaison
The Digital Accessibility Policy created a network of digital accessibility liaisons across the university. Liaisons partner with the Center for User Experience (CUE) to share accessibility best practices with their local units and raise awareness of digital accessibility responsibilities and best practices.
Use the liaison directory to find the name and contact information for your unit’s liaison. If you experience a barrier in your day-to-day work, you can reach out to your liaison to help fix the issue.
You might also work with your liaison when:
- You need to report a digital accessibility barrier.
- You learn that someone has identified a barrier in a tool or service you operate.
- You’re evaluating a new tool and need to test that it’s accessible.
- You’re working with public-facing digital content and want to ensure it’s accessible.
Put accessibility standards into practice
Our goal at UW–Madison is to ensure that all people, regardless of their ability, can use all of the university’s public websites, applications, digital documents and experiences. This standard ensures that everyone is included and can access important information and services.
It’s not one person or one department’s responsibility to make UW–Madison more accessible. It’s a shared university responsibility. Each time you create digital content, such as purchasing or building a digital tool for your team, developing a new webpage, or creating documents for Canvas, you must consider accessibility as part of your process. If you don’t know where to start, try connecting with people across UW–Madison to learn more about what digital accessibility entails and how you can help make our digital community more inclusive.
By working together to make our digital content accessible, we create an environment where UW–Madison community members can fully, equally and independently participate in university activities without accommodations or assistance.
Stay informed as we implement the policy
The policy lays out an annual focus for each year of the implementation. In 2023–24, the policy requires assessment of digital documents. For more information about this and future phases, see the “How to follow UW–Madison’s digital accessibility policy” guide.
For more information about the Digital Accessibility Policy, the liaison network, and to access additional resources, please visit Digital accessibility @ UW–Madison. You can follow the project team’s work on the project implementation page.