According to a 2016 Campus Climate Survey, approximately 13 to 18% of UChicago students are living with a disability. Every student deserves an equal learning experience and must be able to access digital content, such as Canvas pages, PDFs, videos, and other material, at the same level as those without disabilities. The University of Chicago is committed to providing an accessible, diverse, and inclusive environment for all students, including those with disabilities. 

As part of UChicago’s commitment to accessibility, The Center for Digital Accessibility (CDA) provides digital accessibility consulting, assessment, and training for students, faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and postdoctoral researchers at the University. Please join the CDA for a series of virtual sessions and activities throughout the month of May to celebrate the 12th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which will be held Thursday, May 23, focusing on digital equality for the one billion people in the world living with a disability. Visit the CDA website to view the full agenda and register.

As part of GAAD, the CDA will recognize the numerous people across UChicago who have been engaged in efforts to strengthen digital accessibility. Panelists include Mark Bly, Assistant Instructional Professor, Department of Mathematics; Quinn Baron, Manager of Digital Communications, The Law School; and Julie Jung, Director of Marketing and Communications, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. If you, your team, or someone you know has a digital accessibility success story to share, please fill out the success stories nomination form by Friday, April 21. Feel free to submit multiple times if necessary. We know there is a lot of great progress underway! 

  • Content Creator Week: The first week of May will include a series of presentations for content creators about accessible tables, alternative text for images, captions for videos, and color and contrast. We will also discuss features of the Equidox PDF remediation tool and the built-in Canvas accessibility checker.
  • Digital Accessibility Advocates Kick-off: Digital accessibility is a universal responsibility. You can make a difference in strengthening access for everyone. Learn more about how you can promote accessibility within your unit, department, or division by participating in the new Digital Accessibility Advocates program.  We hope you will consider being an advocate!
  • Success Stories: During the third week of May, the CDA will be hosting a Digital Accessibility Success Stories panel on Tuesday, May 16, as well as posting highlights on the UChicago Intranet. If you have questions, please contact the Center for Digital Accessibility.
  • Go Mouse Free: Keyboard accessibility is one of the foundations of digital accessibility. During the fourth week of May, we encourage members of the University community to put their mice away and navigate the web using only their keyboards. Find quick tips on how to use your keyboard to navigate the web on the CDA’s Testing for Accessibility page.

Further Resources

  • The Center for Digital Accessibility has resources for strengthening the accessibility of your digital material. 
  • Student Disability Services provides resources, support, and accommodations to ensure that all aspects of student life are accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities.
  • The GAAD Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to disrupt the culture of technology and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement.