Creating and maintaining an accessible digital environment is a journey - not a one and done endeavor. Accessibility is often thought of as a series of steps, a checklist to follow. However, accessibility should be thought of more as good practice - a method of creating digital assets that are inclusive and useable by a broad audience using a variety of devices. It should be incorporated at the onset of content creation or the development of a digital project, and monitored through its lifecycle. It can also be thought of as being on a continuum with the goal being more towards accessible and less towards inaccessible.
Accessibility as a Continuum:
Borrowing from Ronnie Burt, accessibility "... should never be about compliance and it is never as simple as being accessible or not. No matter how accessible your site is, it can always be more accessible to more users. Just as it can always be faster, better designed, and optimized in countless other ways."
Thinking of accessibility from less to more...
- Inaccessible experiences and materials exclude people.
- Accommodations are modifications or adjustments made for an individual with a disability on an as-needed basis. This effort is reactive and often focuses on one person or a small group of individuals with specific disabilities.
- Accessible experiences and materials provide equal access for everyone without extra work when these accessibility strategies are incorporated at the beginning of the development or creation process. This effort is proactive and provides access to many.
The content provided throughout this site offers resources and guidance to assist in efforts to meet the University's aspirations of providing a more accessible digital environment; offering guidance to those who work to provide accessible digital assets and content.
The University of Virginia is committed to provide equal access to information, programs, and activities delivered through its official digital resources. Therefore it is the responsibility of all of us to work towards a more inclusive and accessible digital experience. Our digital resources include web sites, web-based applications, digital content, digital tools, and media used to conduct university business or academic activities delivered through the internet and the University's intranet services.