University of Wisconsin–Madison

Breaking Down Barriers One Website at a Time

Imagine what it would be like if you encountered one of these barriers every time you visited a website:

  • Text was too dim or too small to read.
  • No sound accompanied a video, or the sound was badly distorted.
  • Features you needed were unattainable because you couldn’t use the mouse.
  • You couldn’t understand the content because it included too many acronyms or obscure references.

UW-Madison is committed to making our web resources accessible to people with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive disabilities. This is not only our obligation under the law; it is the smart thing to do. By creating the Web Accessibility Testing Tools Service, departments can scan their websites and find places where using them is difficult or impossible for people with disabilities. The core of the service is the Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) from the SSB Bart Group. AMP is available to current faculty, staff and students.

Testing tools like AMP are important, but they need to be used wisely. When accessibility is an afterthought, testing will often find hundreds of problems on a website – many that are difficult to repair. Integrating accessibility into the web development and publishing process is a far more efficient and effective approach. When we get it right from the beginning, fewer problems are found during testing, and they are easier to repair. When we get it right from the beginning, we are saying something important about our commitment to providing equal access to all members of our broad community.

Please join the community and help make our web resources more accessible. The Web and Mobile Accessibility/Usability Coordinating Group will begin its Accessible Development and Publishing Phase I Project with a discussion at the IT Policy Forum on August 5 from 1:00-2:30 in the Education Building (room 159).

Together, we can help each other excel. We can learn from the experience of campus departments and other higher education institutions. By sharing and documenting our successes, others can benefit. I would like to thank you in advance for your help in making the University of Wisconsin a place that demonstrates that it welcomes and values every single member of our community.

If you have any questions or comments about web and mobile accessibility at UW-Madison, please contact accessibility@cio.wisc.edu.

Bruce