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Importance of Accessibility

Carleton University continually strives to make all its spaces – digital as well as physical – as accessible as possible. Accessibility is an issue of social justice and we are working hard to improve the accessibility of the University and its websites, with input from our community.

Besides accessibility being an issue of equity, universities with websites that are accessible attract more students, meaning accessibility is crucial for student recruitment. This is not a small proportion of the population: 27% of Canadians identify as having a disability, while many others have limitations they don’t associate with a disability but which would be impacted by poor accessibility.

Additionally, an accessible website is a good website. Many features that make a web page accessible also contribute to its search engine optimization. A properly nested hierarchy of sub-headings within the page, and clear, succinct paragraphs of text mean a page will perform better in search engine results.

Those without disabilities can benefit from accessible design in different situations. For instance, we can employ captions when watching a video when in noisy or quiet spaces.

Therefore, when we improve the accessibility Carleton’s websites, we improve those sites for everyone.