Maryland Brand

Accessible Media Content


“Accessibility” is the inclusive practice of designing so people with disabilities can engage equitably. According to Census Bureau data, nearly 30 percent of people in the United States and about one in six worldwide have a disability.

As a public institution, the University of Maryland is committed to meeting WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines. Even more importantly, making content accessible is an essential part of our culture of inclusion and another example of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.


If the images are integral to your content, describe them using alternative text. Caption and transcribe all videos, so blind and deaf users are able to use your media.

Read more about making images accessible

Read about video


Provide structure to the document with headings. All users will benefit from visual and logical structure, but it’s crucial for assistive tech.

Read more about giving structure to documents


Give the table structure: provide headings for your columns; add a table caption and summary. All users will benefit from these best practices.

Read more on how to give tables good structure


Create your links with concise, unique and descriptive text. Users of assistive technology rely on this to navigate documents.

Read more about how to make good links

Color and Contrast

Provide high color contrast between background and foreground. Make sure that color is not the only source of information or emphasis. Users with some visual impairments will not perceive the difference.

Read more about contrast and color

UMD Color Contrast Guidelines

Color Contrast Checker


Create a list as a list, instead of lines. Avoid using tabs or indents for spacing, users of assistive technology will benefit from this logical structure.

Read more about lists

Check Accessibility

MS Word: Review > Check Accessibility

Canvas: Use the Check Accessibility button

Acrobat: Accessibility > Full Check

Digital Accessibility

Accessible technology has led to innovations like Siri, speech-to-text dictation, touchscreen devices and much more. It’s helped increase usability and improve user experience, and improved the quality of code. And accessible design often breeds innovative technology.

If you have digital accessibility questions, please go to the Division of Information Technology IT Accessibility website for more information.

Maryland is committed to meeting WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines. Please use the Color Contrast guide to identify type color and background combinations that are compliant. A ratio of 4.5:1 or higher is acceptable.

Color contrast is very important to legibility. To meet current accessibility standards, use only approved color combinations. Be sure to take special care with reverse type and type overlays, especially if your audience tends to be middle-aged or older.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) require a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text to achieve Level AA compliance. To achieve Level AAA compliance requires a contrast ratio of at least 7:1 for normal text and 4.5:1 for large text. Large text is defined as 14 point (typically 18.66px) and bold or larger, or 18 point (typically 24px) or larger.

Most people think of websites when they think of accessibility. However, we believe printed materials should also be created with accessibility in mind. And there are things everyone can and should be doing to achieve that objective. The recommendations below are based on the best practices of accessibility and design experts.

Overall, we want to aim to create attractive, legible and readable materials to engage the widest range of users. This means considering accessibility throughout the design process and being open to requests for alternative versions.

The best way to ensure accessible print materials is to offer alternative modalities — electronic files, audio versions, Braille, large-print or alternate-contrast versions (such as low-contrast versions or reverse-contrast type versions) — and advertise the availability of those alternatives.

You can also improve your print materials by following these guidelines:

Any additional compliance questions may be directed to the ADA/504 Coordinator.