Best Practices

Accessibility or Usability is not binary, it is not as simple as yes or no, accessible or not. Instead, any given offering will be more usable or less usable for any given individual depending on the personal characteristics in the student's life.

Physical size, language of origin, work status, family life, sensory abilities, learning preferences, experience using technology, as well as specifics related to hardware or software choices - all of these characteristics can influence how usable a given offering is for a given individual.

The idea is to recognize that barriers can be encountered, and to stay focused on designing for greater ease of use whenever possible. Best Practices help. Below are some of the Top Tips:

Physical Spaces

UAA has a responsibility to:

  • Construct new buildings or modify existing structures in alignment with federal accessibility standards
  • Plan for how spaces will be used in ways that make sure that people using wheelchairs or scooters can easily get in and around buildings
  • Provide wayfinding, emergency alert, and safety information in ways that are accessible and usable given a variety of sensory abilities.
  • Select and place furniture that will work well for a variety of body sizes and shapes.

Public Events

Those planning concerts, lectures, socials, and other events should always keep the following in mind:

  • Consider time/location with a wide range of users in mind
    • Accessible parking and building entrances
    • Space plan for ease of travel and proximity to accessible restrooms 
    • Appropriate spaces for those in wheelchairs to participate
  • Advertise appropriately
    • Include accessibility notices
    • Provide clear contact information
  • Budget for potential accommodation needs

Learning Environments

It is vital that we fully consider our choices:

  • Use course companion sites and other technology that work well with assistive technologies
  • Build syllabi to clarify essential learning outcomes and tell how to request accommodation
  • Build course with multiplicity and flexibility when possible 

Work Environments

 When creating, posting, filling, and retaining positions, is important to:

  • have clarity regarding essential job duties
  • advertise in diverse outlets
  • be open to reasonable accommodation
  • promote professional development opportunities

Information

Webpages, documents, forms, videos, etc all must be accessible:

Online Services

When we conduct business online we must:

  • Only purchase technology that can be used with assistive technologies (Confirm with vendors prior to purchase)
  • Conduct end user testing to be sure our processes work as intended for users on different systems.
  • Provide good contact information for anyone who runs into trouble and needs help.
  • Use clear language and organization with consistent navigation