The Internet and related technologies have enabled widespread access to a wealth of services and information that was previously unattainable.  Unfortunately, these services are not fully accessible to everyone. Information technologies do not always provide a usable experience for users with visual, hearing, cognitive, and physical disabilities.

The University of Illinois has long been an international leader in accessibility.  The campus actively develops Web Best Practices and tools to assist web developers in creating accessible sites.  We also work with many large vendors including Blackboard, Moodle, Ebsco, Microsoft, etc. to help them understand and achieve Universal Accessibility for their products. Despite the University’s vast knowledge and expertise, there is still a great need to raise awareness of accessibility and usability issues in our community and beyond.

We believe that the essential issue is that web developers and designers are unaware of digital accessibility concerns, not that they are unsympathetic to users with disabilities. To help address this, we are offering The Accessible Community, a series of free workshops designed to help local entities understand accessibility problems and demonstrate methods to make web sites/applications universally accessible without jeopardizing style or interactivity.