Accessibility

laptop on a desk

Accessibility isn’t important because it is mandatory. Accessibility is important because we have an obligation to help every student achieve their educational goals. These are some helpful resources to help you ensure that all of your communications are as accessible as possible.

Design

Whether you are designing for print or digital, you must consider font size and color contrast. As you know, the university has two approved color palettes and three fonts that we must use when creating any material. The UC Davis Color Accessibility Guide shows accessible color combinations and mandatory font size options for every single approved color. 

Social Media

Social media accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. Posting an image (PDF, jpeg, png, etc.) is not accessible without the use of alternative text. However, social media platforms don’t always make it easy to add alt text or take into account other disabilities like hearing impairment or loss, visual impairment or loss, distractions, etc. Visit UC Davis’ Brand Guide on Social Media for best practices, including alt text guides by platform, to make your social media content as compliant as possible so everyone can participate.

Videography

When creating videos, the goal is to create stories that are accessible to everyone. If you are producing videos, this means you should create open captions (burned into the original video file) for every video you publish, at minimum. There are captioning and translation resources available for faculty and staff from Academic Technology Services (ATS) on the campus accessibility website. You can also find instructions on creating open captions in Adobe Premiere here. While you can caption videos using YouTube’s captioning feature, social media channels make captioning difficult. There is no way to add captions to videos in Instagram, and it can be difficult to add captions in Facebook and Twitter. Captioning the video from the start saves time and ensures your videos are accessible regardless of where you share them.

Web

While there are many policies and regulations around web accessibility, the campus also has many resources to ensure your website is in compliance. Please visit the Web Accessibility and Best Practices page and familiarize yourself with the relevant policies. Additionally, you have access to a tool called SiteImprove through UCOP. This tool will allow you to test your current website for accessibility issues and features many high quality trainings in accessibility for various media (web, social media, design, videography, etc.)

Writing

While writing might not be the first thing you think of when considering accessibility, there are some easy ways to make sure your writing is accessible. First, you should think about word choice. In general, it is recommended that you keep your writing between a sixth and ninth grade reading level. Obscure or overly complicated words can be very difficult for people with dyslexia to parse out. For reference, this website simulates dyslexia. While you can still read much of the text on that webpage, the scientific word in blue shows how difficult it can be. Additionally, Microsoft Word has built-in accessibility features to review the reading level of your writing as well as font and color contrast choices. The campus also has document conversion software to convert documents from text or image-based files into different formats, such as audio, Braille, and e-text.