Over 20% of people are excluded from education, employment, and healthcare due to inaccessible digital technologies and content.
Digital technologies (such as software apps, websites, digital documents, and operating systems) are often designed without considering the needs of people with disabilities. Remediating existing accessibility issues can be a time-consuming and expensive process that still fails to include the disability community and often leads to delays in access.
The new Maryland Initiative for Digital Accessibility (MIDA) combines the expertise and passion of researchers, designers, developers and educators from multiple disciplines at the University of Maryland with a united goal of making digital technologies accessible for all. MIDA aims to involve the disability community, private and public partners, and anyone interested in accessibility issues, in technology development projects, public outreach programs and advocacy. We will collaborate with others to proactively build in accessibility when developing new technologies – known as the “born-accessible” approach.
MIDA has five high-level goals:
- Building a community of faculty, staff, and students across the University of Maryland (UMD) who are passionate about digital accessibility
- Creating opportunities for UMD to engage with external stakeholders including disability rights groups, technology companies, and policymakers
- Developing technology projects to improve accessibility and demonstrate the born-accessible approach to design
- Fundraising to further support MIDA’s mission
- Increasing awareness of digital accessibility through public events and programming at UMD.
- News Release: Maryland Initiative for Digital Accessibility (MIDA) LaunchesLed by the UMD INFO College, Maryland Initiative for Digital Accessibility (MIDA) aims to change technology design to include disability communities as equal partners, proactively building in accessibility.