Designing for digital accessibility is crucial to ensure people with disabilities can easily navigate the content and has equal access. This can mean designing an electronic document’s content, a website, or even a mobile app. While most sources referencing accessibility tend to focus on compliance standards, the University of Missouri recognizes how accessibility goes hand-in-hand with other related concepts such as Universal Design (UD), Inclusive Design, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Usability.
Here’s a brief look at how digital design concepts provide support universally for all audiences.
Universal Design (UD)
Universal Design means the design and composition of an environment can be accessed, understood, and used by all people to the greatest extent possible. In some instances, this concept is referred to as inclusive design. While some experts describe universal design in relation to physical environments, inclusive design often describes digital products. Learn how you can incorporate Universal Design into your daily processes.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a method of teaching and learning that gives all students equal opportunity to succeed.
UDL should be considered as you create your online courses to ensure all learners can access, use, and benefit equally. Implementing UDL in your classroom will ensure students are provided with the means to have a successful learning experience.
Use the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines to implement UDL in your classroom.
As we work to create a more digitally accessible campus, tracking our user’s experience has been an essential part of assessing usability. Usability is about monitoring how difficult or easy it is for users to navigate the interface, no matter their ability. User experience is determined by the product’s effectiveness, efficiency, and overall satisfaction. Resources like Digital.gov provide support to users at every level. We also encourage you to explore the University’s preferred vendor list for companies that offer usability testing.
- Accessibility, Usability, and Inclusion (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative)
- Designing accessible services
- Digital Services Guides and Resources (Digital.gov)
- Universal Design: Process, Principles, and Applications (University of Washington)