NDTC’s Commitment to Accessibility
October 22, 2021
Here at NDTC, our mission is to empower every Democratic candidate, campaign staffer, and local leader with the tools they need to win elections and build long-term power in their communities. We do that by lowering the barrier of entry that often exists in the political world. Which is why we are committed to providing free and accessible trainings to every Democrat anywhere in the country.
Accessibility manifests itself in different initiatives and efforts here at NDTC and is something we constantly work to improve upon. We have an Accessibility Committee which consistently evaluates the accessibility of our resources and works across the organization to implement accessibility standards in everything we do.
Here are just a few of the ways we make trainings, resources, and programs more accessible for all Democrats:
Adjusting Website Content
Through courses, mini-lessons, and blog posts, NDTC hopes to provide informative, compelling content on political campaigning, running for office, and driving progressive values in your community. In order to do so, we work to make our blog and Online Academy more accessible for all Democrats.
For every image, NDTC adds alternative text, or a short description of the image’s content. Complex images and diagrams have accompanying text. And in our Online Academy, we use real text, rather than images or graphics of text, so content is accessible with a screen reader.
We are also cognizant of differences in perception of color. We aim to ensure text has enough contrast against our website background and make sure color is not the only way we convey information (ie. Green for “Correct” or Red for “Incorrect”). Furthermore, all content is accessible via keyboard navigation.
Our written content, from our blog to our Online Academy, is also meant to be as inclusive as possible. All headings are clear and concise, creating a structured outline for written posts. Content contains inclusive language, at a readability level that is accessible to all.
Increasing Accessibility in Videos
All virtual live trainings have the “Live Transcript” feature enabled. In addition, virtual live trainings are often recorded and posted on our YouTube channel in the days following the event. We generate captions for these videos, and NDTC staff subsequently edit these captions for clarity and correctness.
Pre-recorded videos are subject to the same standards of accessibility. All videos have transcripts attached, as well as captions within the video. All visual information necessary to understand the content has audio accompanying the imagery. Furthermore, we aim to ensure users can pause, stop, or hide any moving elements within videos.
NDTC hosts a variety of programs for aspiring candidates, staff, and local leaders across America. From our Staff Academy program to our new Democratic Strategy Institute (DSI), we work to increase representation at all levels of politics.
Staff Academy and DSI
All participants in NDTC’s programs are chosen regardless of access to technology, ability, or personal circumstances. Our Accessibility Scholarship seeks to minimize the barriers to participation in these programs through the purchase of items such as laptops, webcams, internet hotspots, and headphones. We don’t want technological barriers to stand in the way of future campaign leaders participating in our programs. We believe the variety of perspectives in our programs strengthens the Democratic Party, and makes it more representative of the communities it serves.
In addition, a group of dedicated Program Associates staff each of NDTC’s programs. They are NDTC staff who work to improve the experience of program participants, from addressing questions about content to discussing logistical issues. Our Program Associates are knowledgeable in issues of accessibility, and will address concerns at any time.
NDTC hopes to provide exceptional campaign training for as many Democrats as possible across the country. This includes making our content, from images to writing to video, as accessible as possible.
In order to learn more about the work NDTC is doing relating to accessibility, check out our Accessibility Statement on our website. There, you can review our standards for accessible content, and submit any questions or concerns regarding accessibility at NDTC. In addition, check out our lesson on website best practices from our course, “Building a Campaign Website,” for more information on creating an accessible campaign website.
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