Web accessibility: A new Cascade workflow and other need-to-know facts
Starting in August 2020, people who create content for ucop.edu using our Cascade content management system will need to take steps prior to publication to ensure new or revised content is accessible. If you’re a Cascade content creator for your team, the IT department has sent you a message with details around the pre-publication accessibility review, as well as training.
Even if you’re not publishing on Cascade, however, it’s still important to understand how web accessibility works, why it’s important and how you can make your work accessible.
Web accessibility: Important, but often overlooked
We all understand how important it is to make workplaces, cultural institutions, public transportation and other resources and venues accessible to people with mobility challenges. Ramps, stairways and other assistive improvements are easy to understand because our own experiences often give us a frame of reference for contemplating how they are needed.
When it comes to the web, however, the idea of accessibility can get a bit hazy. If we don’t know someone who uses screen reader software, for example, and we have not been trained in accessible technology, we likely don’t have a frame of reference for what makes a website or document accessible.
But we can educate ourselves, and we owe it to our colleagues to create accessible documents and websites. It’s UC policy — and it’s the law. Here’s more about why digital accessibility matters.
Be accessible! Three things to keep in mind.
As you begin to educate yourself about accessible technology, there are a few key points to keep in mind:
- It’s essential. Our disabled colleagues, and members of the university community and the public we serve, need to be able to access the information, services and systems we put online. We are morally and legally obligated to ensure our work is accessible.
- It’s easy. If you haven’t yet learned how to make documents and webpages accessible, you might think it is complicated. But you don’t need to be a tech expert to easily produce accessible content.
- It doesn’t take a lot of time. Don’t worry: Making things accessible won’t require you to do a bunch more work — provided you do it correctly from the start. There are just a few simple steps to take to make sure your work is readable to everyone.
- Help is available. To get started learning about technology accessibility, visit the UCOP IT Accessibility Program website, check out tutorials on creating accessible documents and PDFs and sign up for online accessibility courses.
This is the first article in a new series by UCOP IT about accessible web standards. For questions, please contact Yvonne Tevis. Look out for more accessibility news and tips in future issues of Link.Tags: accessibility, Cascade, websites