Digital Accessibility at UCSF

UCSF policy and US law require our web delivered services and content are created to be accessible by people with disabilities. 

At the heart of the UCSF accessibility policy is the concept that accessible websites benefit every site visitor with well-designed, easy-to-navigate sites.

From Policy to Accessibility

One: Understand the Need

Get familiar with the concepts of alternative perception. Interact with your site with the color grayed out, mouse-less or even with your eyes closed. Take these impressions into consideration in your planning, building, and testing.

Two: Plan Accessibility Along with Content Creation

Videos – save scripts and notes for the captioning

Forms – Layout so title and field are perceivable from phone to assistive technology

Images – Provide text alternatives

Color – Maintains a 4.5 contrast ratio to backgrounds

Links – Do they make sense alone and go where expected?

Embedded Media – Provide user controls

Tables – never for layout and always label elements

Three: Test with WCAG 2.0 Guidelines

UCSF follows Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are the internationally recognized and approved standard and meet the ADA requirements. There are 25 Guidelines to level AA, organized by the four principals of Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust.

Meeting each guideline is being able to say yes to the “Success Criteria”. For example: Is there a way to get in and out of every component of the page (e.g. widget or control) using only the keyboard? Yes/No

We All Benefit From Accessibility

So many of the communication features you take advantage of were created for people with disabilities: the telephone, voice recognition, autocomplete, spell check, pinch-and-zoom, text-to-speech and so on.

The effort you put in today, will ensure future compatibility, improve search results and help you out when you forget your glasses.

The Spectrum of Ability

Visual: Blind, low-vision, color-blind, forgotten reading glasses

Hearing: Deafness, hard-of-hearing, limited range hearing, no earbuds

Cognitive: Learning disabilities, distractibility, tired

Motor: Slower response time, limited fine motor control, on a bumpy bus

Being on a bumpy bus or not having your earbuds or glasses – those are disabilities? you may question. Disabilities can be permanent, temporary or situational. It really does not matter why you may need to zoom-in or read captions, what matters is that it is always possible.

By providing for the far reaches of accessibility you also include every situation in-between and then some.

Not Just Websites

The principles of WCAG 2.0 AA apply to all digital communications and tools: emails, documents, apps anything that a person with disabilities would need accommodations to access. Pay attention to what elements you use such as links, images, hierarchy, etcetera and be aware of its accessibility.

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