Accessible for All

IT Accessibility


The Office of Information Technology strives to ensure that people with disabilities have equal, available and reliable access to the organization’s services, digital content, and technologies. Our promise encompasses our offerings made available through both technology and our people.


What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, program, service, resource, or environment is available to a given user.  If a building on campus has a wheelchair ramp leading to its main entrance, that entrance is accessible to wheelchair users. If a lecture includes sign language interpreters, that lecture is accessible to attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing and who understand sign language.


What Is Accessible Technology?

Accessible technology is a technology that has been designed in a way so that it can be accessed by all users. This includes electronic documents, websites, software, hardware, video, audio, and other technologies. People who interact with technology are extremely diverse. They have a wide variety of characteristics, and we cannot assume that they’re all using a traditional monitor for output, or keyboard and mouse for input. Consider these users:

  • Most individuals who are blind use either audible output (products called screen readers that read web content using synthesized speech), or tactile output (a refreshable Braille device).
  • Individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia may also use audible output. This is often referred to as Text-to-Speech (TTS).
  • Individuals with low vision may use screen magnification software that allows them to zoom into a portion of the visual screen.
  • Many others with less-than-perfect eyesight may enlarge the font on websites using standard browser functions, such as Ctrl + in Windows or Command + in Mac OS X.
  • Individuals with fine motor impairments may be unable to use a mouse, and instead rely exclusively on keyboard commands, or use assistive technologies such as speech recognition, head pointers, mouth sticks, or eye-gaze tracking systems.
  • Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are unable to access audio content, so video needs to be captioned and audio needs to be transcribed.

Individuals may be using mobile devices including phones, tablets, or other devices, which means they’re using a variety of screen sizes and a variety of gestures or other user interfaces for interacting with their devices and accessing the content.

Accessible technology works for all of these users, and countless others not mentioned.


Making Technology Accessible 

Accessible technology includes electronic documents, websites, videos, software applications, and hardware devices that can be used effectively by everyone, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. The CU Denver and CU Anschutz community are collectively responsible for assuring the technologies we choose, use, and create are fully accessible.


OIT Accessibility Guidelines

The University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus values diverse experiences and perspectives and strives to fully include everyone who engages with the university. Inaccessible information technology (IT) negatively impacts people with a variety of disabilities, including mobility/orthopedic impairments, sensory impairments, specific learning disabilities, attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, speech impairments, health impairments, and psychiatric conditions.

The university's commitment to equal access to IT has been more formally stated through the publication of an IT Digital Accessibility Policy. The policy looks to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Level AA for guidance in meeting its IT accessibility commitments.

In addition to the policy, the Office of Information Technology maintains an IT Accessibility Scorecard which provides specific techniques and testing methods to assist the campus community including web designers, developers, content creators, and purchasing agents, in meeting the policy guidelines when creating and procuring IT.

Additional Resources

  • Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals
    Developed by Microsoft, these trainings offer insight on how to create accessible materials with Microsoft 365 products. 
  • Section 508
    This site from the U.S. Access Board features the full text of the Section 508 legislation, the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards and accompanying tutorials, and the latest draft of the soon-to-be-updated standards.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG)
    This is the definitive set of web accessibility guidelines, from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind)
    Offers a wealth of helpful resources, including an introductory tutorial, articles for audiences of all levels of expertise, a blog, and an active discussion list.
  • IMS Global Learning Consortium Accessibility Specification
    IMS is working on an AccessForAll Meta-data Specification, which is intended to make it possible to identify resources that match a user’s stated preferences or needs. This builds on work by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. IMS has also developed a set of Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications.
  • DO-IT Knowledge Base
    Search hundreds of articles with answers to common questions, case studies, and promising practices regarding accessibility of technology, college, graduate school, and careers for individuals with disabilities.
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