Digital Accessibility


What is digital accessibility?

Accessibility ensures that all people—regardless of ability—can interact with the information or services you provide. Digital accessibility refers to designing all digital content so that it can be fully used by all people. Digital content includes anything used or viewed on a computer or mobile device, such as: web pages, word documents, presentations, PDFs, multimedia, email, software, and much more.

Why is it important?

Everyone should get to participate in science and education, and disability is an important facet of the diversity within our community. Ensuring that our digital spaces are accessible to everyone is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the law.

Who is responsible for making content accessible?

Everyone who creates, edits, or distributes digital content is responsible for ensuring that it is accessible to everyone. Digital accessibility is an ethical imperative, a policy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a federal legal obligation. You don’t need to be an accessibility expert to take action. Every step will have an impact.

Accessibility Resources

Trainings and tools

UW–Madison’s Accessibility website is a centralized location for accessibility and disability resources and provides trainings, guides, services, and information for creating an inclusive and accessible campus environment.'s Accessibility training topic contains over 35 training courses covering everything from designing for accessibility in web design, multimedia, and PDFs to making a case for the importance of accessibility in your organization.

Accessibility checkers

WebAim’s WAVE offers free online and browser extension tools to help evaluate and improve the accessibility of web content.

TPGi’s Colour Contrast Analyzer is a free tool to optimize your content - including text and visual elements - for individuals with color-blindness or low vision impairments.

Color Oracle is a free color blindness simulator for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It helps with designing for color blindness by showing you in real time what people with common color vision impairments will see.

Guides on creating accessible content

Harvard University's Digital Accessibility Services offers some fantastic guidance on creating accessible data visualizations, charts, and graphs.

The "Content Creation" page offers resources on how to make documents, presentations, PDFs, and other digital content accessible. Check out some of their authoring guides pages for authoring and testing guides and checklists:

The UW–Madison Information Technology’s “Make it accessible” page is filled with guides for creating accessible content of all kinds, including video and audio content, images and visualizations, presentations, virtual events, websites, online course materials, and more.

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) has a collection of "cheatsheets" with clear instructions on creating accessible electronic content.

Colorado State University's Accessibility by Design offers tutorials and best practices on core concepts, like writing alternative text for images and descriptive links, that apply to all digital content accessibility. 

The University of Oregon's Digital Accessibility site provides guidelines for creating accessible web content, documents, PDFs, and other digital materials.

Accessible templates

Presentation templates

More resources coming soon!

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