It's awesome to have a website that looks great, but what happens if the content is not accessible to all visitors? Yes, there's the possibility of legal ramifications. But what about empathy? If people can't access your content, they aren't going to have a good experience with your institution. It's important to think about accessibility from a broad perspective, beyond just screen readers and other technologies for impaired users. Your website should be an extension of your physical campus and be a level playing field for all visitors.
Check out Higher Ed Live's Special Edition episode on Universal Design to learn about this broad-spectrum design perspective as well as recommended guidelines, such as the WCAG 2.0 POUR principles. The episode features Stephen Fornal, Manager of Web Development for Tarrant County College District, and Kate Browne, Technology Trainer at Illinois Wesleyan University, speaking with host Erin Supinka from Dartmouth College.
First impressions are everything, so making web accessibility a priority can have a meaningful impact on both the user experience and marketing efforts of your institution. You don't need a web developer's knowledge to get started!
Read more blog posts about Universal Design and accessibility: