Digital Accessibility

Computer lab at Portland State University with a row of iMacs

Digital Accessibility

Shame on us if we let the wonders of educational technology and broadband lead to more inequality as opposed to less.

~ Eugene Sperling

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital, online, web, EIT, ICT...all of these descriptors apply to digital environments and resources that must be designed in a way that is both accessible and usable for people with disabilities who use alternative means of access, like adaptive technology.

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Digital accessibility is necessary for people with disabilities:

  • People who are blind
  • People who have visual impairments
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who have motor disabilities
  • People who have cognitive disabilities
  • People who are colorblind

However, digital accessibility benefits everyone:

  • People who are older or aging
  • People for whom English is a second language
  • People using older or slower technologies
  • People who are new to using the web
  • People who use the web infrequently
  • People who use mobile and smart devices
Collection of four symbols representative of physical and cognitive accessibility: a person using a wheelchair, a human brain, human hands using sign language, and a person walking with a cane.

Digital Accessibility Basics

The following is the first portion of the Digital Accessibility Basics Training series required for all pdx.edu site editors. This portion of the training, "Digital Accessibility: What and Why," provides a basic overview of why digital accessibility is so integral to equity and inclusion for people with disabilities. This and the remaining how-to portions of the training are available via the Digital Accessibility Training web page.

Transcript for "Digital Accessibility, Part 1: What and Why" Video