Web Accessibility

Accessibility

Accessibility extends website ease-of-use to people with disabilities, whether they have poor eyesight, trouble using a mouse or touch surface, or other impairments. Accessibility speaks to discrimination and civil rights, and thus has major ethical and legal importance.

As a recipient of federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, University of Detroit Mercy is subject to federal legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

According to federal law, for a website to be “accessible,” any person with a disability must be able to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability, in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

Types of disabilities covered include:

  • Blind, low vision, color-blind
  • Deaf, hard of hearing
  • Deafblind
  • Motor / dexterity disabilities
  • Speech disabilities
  • Cognitive / learning disabilities
  • Reading disabilities
  • Seizures
  • Multiple disabilities

Assistive technologies and practices exist to help people with disabilities use the Web. Examples include text-to-speech screen readers, screen magnifiers, voice control, speech recognition, video transcripts and captions, etc.

A poorly-designed, non-accessible website can defeat these assistive technologies, and thereby discriminate against people with disabilities. Accessibility not only makes sites work better for people with disabilities, but usually makes sites work better for all users.

The Marketing & Communications Department’s Web team works to increase the accessibility of our websites and it is the responsibility of all website content contributors as well, not just to comply with the law, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Related Links

Related Policies

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect."
– Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web