Promote Digital Accessibility

Cultivate Inclusion: accessibility.umn.edu

You Can Make a Difference

Most people who create content that isn't accessible simply aren't aware that they are excluding people from an equitable online experience. Share what you know to help others grow their awareness and skills. Begin with one or more of the following.

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Add Digital Accessibility to an Upcoming Meeting Agenda

Introduce digital accessibility concepts to your team at your next team meeting agenda. Some ideas for sharing are:

Pick a Topic from Accessibility.umn.edu to Present to Your Group

Examples include:

Prompt an Interactive Discussion

Choose from the following questions (or create your own)

  • On a scale of 1-10, how knowledgeable are you about digital accessibility? What would it take to move that up two?
  • Name 2-3 digital accessibility skills we could all practice starting today.
  • How does digital accessibility affect your individual work?
  • If you wanted to learn more about digital accessibility, what's the first step you'd take?
  • [Your ideas here.] 

Let Us Know How It Went! 

We'd like to know about your successes and challenges. If you bring a digital accessibility topic to your meeting, email us at [email protected]. Your stories can help us improve our resources and fine-tune our messages.

Request a Cultivate Inclusion Presentation for Your Team or Department

Invite us to an upcoming meeting. Members of the Digital Accessibility community are available to give an overview of digital accessibility over Zoom. Complete the presentation request form and we'll work with you to schedule a presentation for your team or department. 

Share Educational Resources with People You Know

A plethora of resources are available to help build skills in digital accessibility. Help colleagues get started.

Spark Conversations with Cultivate Inclusion Images

Download and share Cultivate Inclusion images to spark conversations and help raise awareness. Example uses include: 

  • LinkedIn profile banner
  • Zoom backgrounds

Remember to briefly describe your Zoom background images and explain context for attendees who are blind, have low vision, or for other reasons can't view your images. For example, if you are introducing yourself, you might say, my name is Jo, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and my background says, "Cultivate Inclusion" to promote digital accessibility practices.

Attend Digital Accessibility Events (and Bring a Colleague)

Accessibility Ambassadors is a group of University staff who are passionate about making U of M digital resources more accessible online. They bring different skills, strengths, and backgrounds, but all want to create an inclusive and accessible community at the U. They host events to teach, advocate, and discuss digital accessibility topics and strive to be resources for the University community.

For more information, join the Google Group or send an email to [email protected].

Connect with the UMN Digital Accessibility Community

Encourage people you know to join the Digital Accessibility communities at the University. By joining these Google Groups, its easier to stay up-to-date and connect with others who are growing in their digital accessibility practice.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” -Maya Angelou

Take Accessibility Training

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The University provides several training programs that can help you learn digital accessibility skills.

Find Training

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Digital Accessibility Badging Program

The University of Minnesota is home to nearly 90,000 people. In a community of this size, not everyone accesses digital content in the same way - but every member of our community must be able to navigate and understand that content.

The Digital Accessibility Badging Program teaches you how to create emails, slide decks, documents, and more in an accessible way, without using code. In each self-paced online workshop, you will learn skills and apply them to your everyday work. You may choose to take as many workshops as you like. 

You will receive a digital badge for each course you complete after Digital Accessibility: Foundations. A digital badge is an image that carries metadata, validating the skills you demonstrated in a training. Digital badges are shared online through social media and other professional development platforms, such as LinkedIn.

This program is a collaboration between the Digital Accessibility Stakeholders Group, the Disability Resource Center, the Office of Information Technology, and many other University resources. It is an outcome of the Digital Accessibility Charge by Bernard Gulachek (VP & CIO) and Julie Showers (Interim Associate VP for Compliance).

Enroll Now!

You don't have to wait—start learning today!

  1. Enroll in Digital Accessibility: Foundations to begin your journey.
  2. Once you have taken Digital Accessibility: Foundations, you will be eligible for any of the other courses in the program.
Currently Available
Coming Soon
  • Digital Accessibility: Mass Email
  • Digital Accessibility: Canvas Course Sites 
  • Digital Accessibility: Video

Digital Literacy Project Online Modules

Any University of Minnesota student, instructor, or staff can learn about techniques for clear and simple writing and six core skills of accessible, usable communication through free online modules developed for the Digital Literacy Project by the College of Liberal Arts LATIS staff in partnership with Academic Technology Support Services. 

Customized Accessibility Training

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) can provide customized training for your team. Submit a request on the DRC outreach & training form.

How-to and Learn More Content

Test Page

Vertical navigation is typically best as an addition to a large site that is using horizontal navigation for their main navigation. Combining vertical navigation with horizontal navigation on a site’s secondary pages may be particularly useful on sites that have deeply nested content. Guidelines and best practices are outlined in more detail in the "Best Practices" tab below. 

Vertical navigation may also be used as the primary navigation instead of horizontal navigation if it better fits the site’s needs. Typically this works best when the site is shallow, usually no more than three levels deep.

Before you determine your site’s navigation style, please read through the Planning On-click Navigation information.

Usage, Best Practice, and Accessibility

Plan for Accessibility

Consider accessibility as you begin every project. Even if you have limited time, take on just one aspect now, and tackle others later. That way you may not have to retrofit materials upon request, which ultimately can take more time, resources, and money.

Develop Accessible Websites

Following accessibility guidelines will help everyone who contributes to websites make web content that is more usable by more users on more devices.

Social Media

Social media platforms raise some access issues for individuals with disabilities. Although accessibility on social media sites is limited in a lot of ways, some features do exist in each platform. Learn some practical ways you can make your posts more inclusive.