Accessibility and inclusion: Planning for accessibility and inclusion in new projects

Web accessibility has always been a requirement for UMaine websites, and has been a regular feature in our monthly newsletter. Ensuring your content is accessible is part of an inclusive communication strategy.

Many times, the team here in Digital Communications are asked to place content on a website for the University of Maine, University of Maine at Machias, or University of Maine System. While an accessibility review is conducted on new content we are made aware of, in many cases the adjustments needed for the content are best made “upstream” from the online presentation, whether it is source documents used to create PDF downloads or an interactive presentation that is intended for a public audience.

If you are beginning a project that will be available to the public, please reach out to the team here in Digital Communications at as early in the process as feasible. We routinely advise on content marketing plans, website redesigns, and new campus initiatives that will have a public communications component. By having an opportunity to share our insights into accessibility considerations at the start of a project, many pitfalls can be avoided and the resulting product will be usable by a wider range of your audience. We are also able to connect with the expertise in the broader Division of Marketing and Communications, drawing on the teams in News Services, Creative Services and Visual Media to ensure the writing, photography, and design elements reflect the inclusive diversity and accessibility goals of our university.