Accessibility of Information Technology
Responsible University Officer(s):
- Vice President for Equity and Diversity (Interim)
- Vice President for Information Technology
- Senior Director - OIT Application Development
- Director - Disability Resource Center
The University is committed to providing equitable access to information technology, including services and the environments in which information technology is used.
All colleges, departments and central units are responsible for ensuring access to their Web content and applications in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, including:
- Use of web page design standards that provide access for all, including those with disabilities.
- Use of hardware and software products that promote universal design and access.
- Design and implementation of accessible technology-related work environments that accommodate all users.
Research and Non-availability Exceptions
Exceptions to this policy are as follows:
- Hardware and software tools specific to a research or development process in which no member of the research or development team requires accessibility accommodations. The lead investigator must document that, upon inquiry, no member of the research or development team identified him/herself as requiring an accommodation.
- Hardware or software for which no equivalent accessible option is available (non-availability). All colleges, departments, central units, and project leads are responsible for documenting the following efforts in verifying compliance with this exception.
- Identification of alternative applications or equipment with similar required functionality that do not provide additional accessibility.
- Identification of alternative applications or equipment that are accessible but do not meet functionality requirements.
REASON FOR POLICY
Incorporating principles of universal design in the development, acquisition and implementation of information technology and related resources helps the University to ensure that these resources (documents, Web pages, information, services, etc.) are accessible to the widest possible audience.
Implementing this policy will help ensure that all individuals have access to information and information technology associated with administration and services, courses of instruction, departmental programs, and University-sponsored activities.
- A person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.
- Technology-related Environments
- Any environment in which technology is made available for general use by students, faculty, staff, guests or visitors.
- Disability Resource Center
- Promote awareness of policy. Respond to requests for assistance from units and individuals. Monitor progress of implementation.
- Office of Information Technology
- Promote awareness of policy. Provide consulting services to units making changes in order to comply with this policy.
- Purchasing Services
- Establish procedures to assure that University specifications for technology purchases include specifications for accessibility when relevant.
- University Units
- Indicate on purchasing requisitions that technology accessibility issues are relevant.
- Web Developers
- Follow established University Standards when creating and revising University web pages.
- Web Development
- Provide consulting services to units making changes to accommodate this policy.
- Board of Regents Policy: Disability Services
- Administrative Policy: Internal Access to & Sharing University Information
- Administrative Policy: Public Access to University Information
- Accessible U
- Inclusive By Design
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- USA, Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, Section 508
Requires Federal agencies, or members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, to use electronic and information technology, that allows employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the employees without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
Section 508 is a Federal Acquisition Rule (FAR) and covers hardware, software, and the Web
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Accessibility Requirements
Entities to Title II or III of the ADA must provide effective communication to individuals with disabilities, and covered entities that use the Internet to provide information regarding their programs, goods or services must be prepared to offer those communications through accessible means.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
- Establishes principle of programmatic access to federally-funded programs. Does not directly address the internet, Web, or information technology, but lays foundation for accessibility to the services ("programs") of federally-funded programs.
- December 2013 - Comprehensive Review. Modified ownership to include the Office of Information Technology. Provided greater specificity around conditions which qualify for exceptions to the accessibility standards.
- July 2008 - Clarified and simplified policy. Special situations section deleted and Exception section added. Updated Disability Services contact information. Added FAQ.
- May 2002 - Clarified Purchasing Services responsibility in Responsibilities section.
- March 2002 - Policy is now effective, not proposed. Policy statement and reason, definitions, special situations and procedure have all been revised. Deadlines for implementation of this policy have been extended three months. Reference to "granting exemptions" and "without placing an undue burden" was removed from the Policy Reason. This material is addressed in Special Situations.
- March 2002