Editor’s note: Accessibility is a hot (and broad) topic, especially now as businesses and organizations seek to expand their diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) efforts. Not only is making your content accessible the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. The World Health Organization estimates that 15% to 20% of the global population experiences disability. That doesn’t consider temporary disabilities (such as a broken arm) or situational disabilities (being in a noisy room and needing captions to watch a video). We all benefit from accessibility.
In the U.S. it’s also the law. Companies have been sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act for not making their content accessible. Additionally, federal agencies (and therefore projects funded by federal agencies) are required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to make their content accessible. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services takes it a step further and has its own set of standards that go beyond the Section 508 requirements.
But where do you start? With the number of accessibility standards and considerations, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. The Learning and Resource Center is creating a tip series on accessibility, spanning from digital documents, websites, webinars, e-learning, and more. Different accessibility requirements arise with different situations. For example, take a digital document vs. a webinar. One needs tags, the other needs captions. Our series on accessibility seeks to demystify how designers and e-learning specialists can get started in accessibility.