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Why do accessibility?

Why it matters

It’s the right thing to do

People with disabilities are far more likely to run into barriers that prevent access to spaces, systems, content, or the services behind those than people without disabilities. Resources benefit from intentional design to account for individuals with a wide variety of disabilities.

It’s the law

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and relevant local, state, and federal law, the University provides individuals with disabilities equal access to programs, services and/or activities.

It benefits us all

Accessibility demonstrates the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Intentionally supporting a culture and environment of inclusion and support for all people is integral to being a member of the UW community.

Who it affects

1 in 4 adults in the United States identify as having a disability

According to the United States Census Bureau data27.2% of people living in the United States have a disability, and approximately 1 in 6 people globally. When we look at those numbers and the people they represent, we can see the impact of exclusion would be substantial. Most disabilities are hidden or may not immediately be apparent.

Disability is an equal opportunist

At any point in our lives one may become temporarily, situationally, or permanently disabled; whether one: breaks an arm and can only type with one hand, uses captions or an ASL interpreter to engage in meetings, or has had a chronic health disability impacting participation in activities, education or work over time.

Accessibility impacts everyone, it is important that we design for all. The need for accessibility extends far beyond the basic perception of disability. Designing information technology, learning environments, physical and social spaces with accessibility is essential to building a community where everyone has the opportunity to meaningfully engage and thrive.

How good accessibility can help you

Good accessibility benefits everyone involved

Accessible design often breeds innovation. Accessible technology has led to innovations like Siri, speech to text dictation, and touch screen devices.  Accessibility in the physical environment led to curb ramps, power assisted doors, and adjustable furniture. Inclusive and accessible design creates spaces, technologies, and experiences that are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.