Accessibility Network at UC
About the Program
The Accessibility Network at the University of Cincinnati was created in response to a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to ensure that information provided through the university’s websites, online or eLearning environment, and course management systems is accessible to individuals with disabilities. This university-wide program will drive the establishment and sustainability of online accessibility as part of our core commitment to Inclusive Excellence.
The Accessibility Network includes over 70 representatives from across campus including the Office of the Provost, Disability Services, Governmental Relations and University Communications, IT@UC, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Office of General Council, Faculty Senate, representatives from each UC college, and many more.
For more information about the structure and membership of our program, please visit our Program Representatives page.
In an effort to continue to support students who access UC websites, a new link was added to the footer of all university webpages entitled “eAccessibility Concern”. If you or someone you know encounters a barrier to access when viewing university website content, please use this form link to notify us of the issue.
The University of Cincinnati will provide a universally designed web and e-learning experience that is accessible to all and supports success for every student.
Over time, best practices and laws have changed from simply accommodating people with all ranges of abilities to focusing more on inclusion and creating spaces for everyone. Thinking from a purely architectural perspective, accommodations are physical changes required in the environment to ensure access to a person with a disability. We can take it a step further to say inclusion is constructing one environment that can be used by everyone.
Similar to architects designing buildings, web page information needs to be created for everyone. Architects plan for ramps in public spaces. Web pages need to be designed so people using assistive software or hardware devices can understand and interpret the information correctly.
That's what eAccessibility is: the creation of electronic materials without obstacles, allowing equal access to information for people with all ranges of ability.
This effort is a great opportunity for our university to support the needs of an ever-growing student population with a wide range of abilities: unlocking opportunities, changing negative attitudes, and opening doors for everyone along the way.
We look to The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) who has developed the Four Principles of Accessibility as a guideline for creating content:
"Anyone who wants to use the Web must have content that is:
- Perceivable - Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can't be invisible to all of their senses)
- Operable - User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)
- Understandable - Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)
- Robust - Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)
If any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the Web."