Part of being a public university is being inclusive. That’s the central tenet of accessibility: to fully include everyone who engages with UCLA. Accessibility is an important mindset for anyone working on UCLA communications.

UCLA’s Commitment

UCLA is committed to accessibility because respect for the rights and dignity of others is a True Bruin Value.

Accessibility is not optional. UCLA receives federal, state and local funding. That means both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) apply to our campus. The University of California has systemwide policies in support of electronic accessibility.

UCLA Accessibility

University of California Electronic Accessibility

How It Affects Our Work

Many of the changes to the UCLA Brand Guidelines introduced in 2018 are based on accessibility needs and ADA compliance. Colors and fonts are not simply esthetic decisions; they are important to usability. In this era of new communications trends and platforms, we must be mindful of accessibility across a wide range of media.

UCLA color specifications were modified to improve color contrast, especially for headlines and text. This change makes print and online materials more legible. Brand fonts were also updated. Helvetica, known for readability, is now the core font for online use. Department logos (sometimes called unit signatures or lockups) were re-designed for increased legibility and ease of use.

Web components and templates also incorporate more rigorous attention to accessibility standards than previous templates. A new video section explains the need for captions and transcripts, and provides guidance for superimposed type and title cards. The print, social media and presentations sections of this site also incorporate accessibility concerns.

There are two important implications:

  1. Don’t tinker: Designers should not modify brand colors, web components, templates, etc. Both brand consistency and accessibility depend on using the materials as provided.
  2. Clean house: Discard old logos and templates, and update websites, videos, presentations and publications to be consistent with brand guidelines and to meet or surpass accessibility standards.