Here at the UW, we recognize that digital access and inclusion are crucial to a student’s meaningful and rewarding Husky Experience, and to being able to do our best work in a welcoming environment. In support of that goal, this week we launched a centralized accessibility website that will serve as a digital front door to accessibility at the UW. I encourage everyone to visit the new website to explore the available resources, guidance, tools, community-building opportunities and engagement opportunities.
Thank you to the Office of the ADA Coordinator and the Accessibility Steering Committee for their leadership in making our community more welcoming and for their work on the new site. I charged the committee with fostering an institution-wide environment of inclusion and equal access consistent with our mission and values, and the new site reflects those values by sharing how our campuses, hospitals and clinics are strengthened and enriched by people with disabilities. Accessibility benefits everyone when we treat it as an approach to communication and engagement that recognizes the intersectional identities, experiences and needs of our entire campus community. It’s more than accommodations for people with disabilities; it’s a movement toward an environment in which everyone can bring their whole self to campus and have the opportunity to thrive.
I’m very proud of the great work happening across our University to center accessibility, including nationally recognized innovation, research, scholarship, partnerships and teaching in the area of disability and accessibility. I also deeply appreciate the outstanding work happening in every unit to increase digital accessibility for our community. Yesterday, in honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), we recognized some of the teams and departments that are leading the way in IT accessibility with the 2023 Digital Accessibility Awards — congratulations and thank you to all the honorees for your work.
Honoring our values as a welcoming, inclusive community depends on all of us — excellence requires an environment that recognizes and welcomes the full spectrum of human diversity, including people with disabilities. I look forward to our ongoing work together to ensure that our campuses and facilities are accessible, both digitally and physically, to everyone who seeks to learn, serve, discover and contribute as part of the UW community.