Digital accessibility

Umeå University needs to follow the Law on Accessibility to Digital Public Service. This means that content presented digitally on our websites and learning platforms must be designed so that anyone with access to the pages has the chance to understand them. This page presents the legal requirements and how you can make digital content accessible.

By making sure the university's content is digitally accessible, we make sure that everyone, regardless of disability, can understand it. The Law on Accessibility to Digital Public Service means that digital content must be:

  • possible to understand even if you have impaired vision or hearing
  • manageable and possible to interact with
  • comprehensible
  • robust and sturdy and compatible with various technical aids.

The law affects everyone working in some form with information aimed for digital channels. You need to be aware of the existing requirements and how you can fulfil them. The law comprises most situations in which you publish information digitally and concerns, for instance

  • Websites, staff websites and learning platforms
  • Documents
  • Images, audio and video
  • Social media
  • Text and language

How to make digital information accessible

Depending on what type of content you are publishing, and on what platform, there are various ways of approaching accessibility., the staff web and other websites

As an editor of and the staff web, you are responsible for designing your pages in an accessible way, and for making sure that documents, texts, images and video that you upload are accessible. The Communications Office and the IT Office are responsible for making sure that and the staff web follow the technical specifications of the law.

If you have your own website outside of, you are responsible for making sure the website follows the law, both technically and content-wise.

Learn about accessible websites

Canvas learning platform

Teaching staff who teach and publish information in the Canvas learning platform can get help with accessibility and subtitling of recorded lectures in Canvas.

Digital accessibility in teaching


When it comes to documents on digital platforms, you should primarily consider presenting the information directly on a web page instead of publishing a document. This makes the information more accessible and it is easier to keep the information updated. On and the staff web, information also becomes easier to find for search engines when the information is provided on a webpage.

Documents can be used for content that is

  • long and primarily intended to be read in printed format
  • unchanged over time, for instance legal texts, letters of regulation and instructions
  • dependent on layout, graphics and always being presented the same way
  • bound by law to have a certain appearance
  • dependent on a particular document format, for instance if it contains mathematical formulas or other elements.

How to create accessible documents

Images, audio and video

The general rule for accomplishing accessible images, audio and video is that all recipients must be able to get access to the same information. This means that you need to provide alternative ways for a person to access the contents if they cannot see or hear it. One common way is to use text, for example subtitling.

Accessible images, audio and video

If, for instance, you are recording a lecture, you can use an automatic tool for subtitling.

Digital accessibility in teaching

Social media

As far as possible, Umeå University's social media content must be accessible. This means that we must use the functionality for accessibility that are available on each respective platform. You should add captions to video whenever possible, and if the platform supports alt captions for images, use that feature.

It is also good to avoid using several emojis in direct succession in, for example, post texts, as emojis are read aloud by screen readers, which can be annoying to listen to.

Learn more about using social media

Text and language

Texts in our digital channels need to adhere to the Law on Accessibility to Digital Public Service, the university's Language Policy and the Language Act. This, for instance, means that texts must be characterised by plain language. Plain language means that texts must:

  • be adapted to their recipients
  • be suitably structured
  • be clear and unmistakeable
  • be characterised by a cultivated, simple and comprehensible language
  • be accessible and inclusive
  • be characterised by a respectful tone of voice.

Learn more about writing texts at Umeå University

Jonas Mattebo