ArcGIS StoryMaps

How to get started with accessible storytelling using ArcGIS StoryMaps

May 16, 2024, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, or GAAD. The goal of this day is to raise awareness about the diverse ways people experience digital content. Digital accessibility is an important topic since many people experience impediments when accessing digital content. In fact, over one billion people worldwide have impairments affecting vision, hearing, motor skills, or cognition that interfere with using digital technology.

As many of our daily activities involve digital technology, being informed about how to create accessible digital content is vital for content creators. The ArcGIS StoryMaps builder is designed to make creating accessible digital content a straightforward process. The intuitive builder helps authors share their stories using maps and other multimedia and includes features for making them inclusive for people who may have any number of challenges when consuming multimedia content.

Cover image for the ArcGIS StoryMaps story Getting started with accessibility has the name of the story and a wooden building block labeled with the words digital accessibility on it.

In honor of GAAD, the ArcGIS StoryMaps team revisited our existing story, Getting started with accessible storytelling. We made a few updates to freshen it up to make sure you have the basic information you need to create accessible stories.

Our updated story may also be helpful for story authors affected by the Title II updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act. In essence, these updates mean that state and local governments in the United States will need to follow updated guidelines for creating accessible content. These updates ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities to access government information and services. Previously, the guidelines for accessibility standards were not fully defined.

The Title II updates clarify expectations for information accessibility for both creators and consumers. While these guidelines probably aren’t a complete surprise, they may create new challenges for story authors who haven’t created accessible content before, and this story should help you get started. We also include links to other how-to resources as well.

As always, we want your feedback about accessibility in StoryMaps and how we can make the product better. Please share your comments and suggestions in our Esri Community.

About the author

Content creator and product engineer on Esri's StoryMaps team.

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