The executive leader often has the role of communicating a clear and achievable vision for digital accessibility within the organization. Managers can drive action by communicating the roles employees will play in achieving the vision, establishing clear goals and expectations, and providing resources and training, as needed.
Importance of Your Role
Information accessibility is as important as information security. Just as the University meets federal law to protect privacy, information used by the University must meet accessibility policy requirements, which include:
- Use of web page design standards that provide access for all, including those with disabilities.
- Use of hardware and software products that promote universal design and access.
- Design and implementation of accessible technology-related work environments that accommodate all users.
Accessible Information has Benefits Beyond Equitability
- Cost-savings. Maintaining clean, accessible code is less expensive.
- Improved search engine optimization. Accessible content is ranked higher is search results.
- Reduced institutional risk. Accessible IT minimizes the likelihood of costly lawsuits or complaints.
- Enriched research and scholarship. Diversity that includes the experiences of people with disabilities creates a more vibrant, rigorous University community.
Accessibility is Everyone’s Everyday Responsibility
Accessibility is a human resource issue. Since there isn’t one office on campus who will make our assets accessible; every instructor with a course site, every person who contributes content to a website, and every staff member who creates and shares emails, documents, or presentations on a computer is responsible for making it accessible to everyone.
- Articulate a vision for your organization that establishes digital accessibility as a priority and an expectation. Double check: Can members of your organization clearly articulate what the vision is?
- Establish digital accessibility goals for employees as is appropriate for their roles. Setting goals and having check-ins to track progress communicates that accessibility is a priority and an expectation.
- Build digital accessibility competence across your organization by advocating that staff take training, such as the Digital Accessibility Badging program, available at no charge.