About Access

Expanding Access

Rice University is an inclusive community that values the diversity of its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors.


Like race, ethnicity, immigration status, sex, gender, age, religion, and class, disability is an important factor that contributes to the rich backgrounds of our community members.

Ableism is discrimination that favors people without disabilities. Ableism creates systemic barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing and using information and communication technologies equally and independently. Just as we must challenge and overcome racist, sexist, ageist, and classist ideas and behaviors, we must challenge ableism to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Inclusive Design

When we adopt a framework of access and universal design, we are better prepared to avoid and remove the barriers that exclude people with disabilities. It is up to every content author, administrator, developer, and vendor to commit to removing barriers and expand access to digital information for everyone at Rice and beyond.

For inclusive design techniques and best practices, see our Accessibility Guides.

How Can I Expand Access?

Students giving a presentation on touch technology.


Students with qualifying disabilities are eligible to receive reasonable accommodations that provide equally effective alternatives. Accommodation and accessibility are related, but are two different concepts.

Learn more about accommodation.

A student focusing on a computer screen.

Accessible Design

When we proactively design digital information according to Rice’s accessibility standard, we reduce the need for accommodations and resource-intensive remediation.

Learn more about accessible design.

The accessibility coordinator speaking in front of a projector screen.


Digital information that is not designed according to Rice’s accessibility standard will most likely need some level of touching up. Remediation is the process of removing barriers from existing digital information and improving access for all.

Learn more about remediation.

The 411 on A11y

What does a11y even mean?

Source: mds.is/a11y

Pronounced A-one-one-Y, or A-eleven-Y, a11y is a numeronym for the word “accessibility.”

We get “a11y” when we replace the eleven letters between the A and the Y
in the word “accessibility.”

When you practice good a11y, you are being an ally to people with disabilities.

To start your a11y journey, see our Accessibility Guides, or contact us for consultations and training.