As a student, you may be hearing more and more about the issue of accessibility and in particular, how it affects you. We hope you will take advantage of the various resources available at Miami so you can make the most of your college education.
What is "accessibility"?
Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from a system or entity. Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, which is the extent to which a product (such as a device, service, or environment) can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.
Accessibility is strongly related to "universal design," a term used to describe the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations.
Why is accessibility important?
Although accessibility focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology, it's really about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not). Accessibility research and development brings benefits to everyone. For example, did you know that 75% of mobile design overlaps with accessibility design? Did you know that when creating documents or websites that display well across all mobile platforms, you are actually designing for accessibility? Accessible documents, videos, or web pages might even be a requirement for a class you attend.
How could accessible technology benefit me if I don't have a disability?
Providing software free of charge to anyone with a Miami ID is just one of the ways Miami supports and promotes universal design. Would you like to have software that reads text to you? What about a program that allows your computer to type the words that you speak? You can also use technology to ensure access for others. Check out some cool examples of Assistive Technology (AT), including Read&Write and mobile apps that help with note-taking.