Accessible Communication for Election Offices (5-hour course)

This course is a professional development program on how to make important civic information more accessible for people with disabilities.

Learning principles of accessible communication benefits everyone in your community -- not just people with disabilities -- and learning to make civic information accessible can make you a more effective, thoughtful communicator and serve your community better.

Our 5-hour course provides an overview of principles of accessible communication and includes a work block in which participants will test their materials for accessibility and create revision plans with one-on-one support from CTCL instructors.

Looking for a more basic overview of accessible communication? Maybe our 90-minute course would do the trick. 

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will:

  • Recognize why accessible communication is important
  • Understand how people with disabilities experience information online and in other media
  • Be familiar with principles of accessible communication (POUR)
  • Have actionable guidelines for making your materials more accessible
  • Know how plain language helps readers with and without disabilities

What you'll need

To participate in this course, you’ll need:

  • A computer with internet access
  • A pen and paper to take notes and doodle

Course outline

Part 1: Understanding accessibility

  • Exercise in empathy
  • What research tells us about disability and accessibility
  • Profiles: audience, accessibility, demographics, and assistive technologies
  • Breakout: navigating a website using only a keyboard
  • How accessible communication and design benefit everyone

15-minute break

Part 2: Accessibility principles and challenges

  • Understanding adaptability and POUR principles
  • Accessibility and universal design
  • How plain language supports accessibility
  • Breakout: Hemingway App and plain language translating

1-hour lunch

Part 2: Accessibility principles and challenges (continued)

  • Accessibility concerns for election websites: what research tells us
  • Web accessibility challenges: links, headings, form fields, and images
  • Breakout: writing good link text and alt text

Part 3: Implementing accessibility

  • Media accessibility challenges: video, graphics, PDFs, and social media
  • Overview of accessibility resources and next steps
  • Introduction to WebAIM Wave and Cynthia Says
  • Work block: testing a web page for accessibility and creating a revision plan

Ready to learn?

We're ready to prepare a course to fit your needs. Click the link below to start the conversation.