Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy

Effective date: March 2021

Purpose

The University is committed to ensuring that its electronic and information technology (“EIT”) is accessible to students, prospective students, employees and visitors with disabilities. 

In meeting its obligations to provide accessible EIT according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the University has developed this EIT accessibility policy.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same services and information through the University’s EIT as a person without a disability.  

EIT includes the University’s websites, including electronic documents posted on University websites and video and audio content, course-management systems, University email, online courses, computers and computer tablets, software, video or multimedia products, handheld devices, classrooms podiums and displays, and information kiosks. 

This policy identifies responsibilities and processes to ensure that individuals with disabilities have comparable access to University EIT, identifies the accessibility standards applied by the University, identifies the University’s EIT Accessibility Coordinator and provides a complaint procedure when an individual identifies inaccessible EIT. 

The University recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need specific accessibility-related software, hardware or other assistive technology in order to access certain technology.  As a reminder, individuals with disabilities are encouraged to request assistive technology or other accommodations.  While there is overlap between the University’s commitment to making all EIT accessible and providing accommodations to individuals with disabilities, individuals requesting accommodations must contact Disability Resources to engage in the interactive process for approved accommodations. 

EIT Accessibility Coordinator

The University has designated an EIT Accessibility Coordinator to oversee the implementation of this policy.  The EIT Accessibility Coordinator is William Emery.

In addition to overseeing the implementation of this policy, the EIT Accessibility Coordinator will maintain resources to assist individuals in complying with this policy when managing EIT content or procuring new EIT.  To request individual or department training regarding EIT Accessibility, contact the EIT Accessibility Coordinator. 

Online Learning, Course-Management Systems and Electronic Devices

Individuals using EIT in course instruction are responsible for ensuring that EIT is accessible to individuals with disabilities.  This includes electronic content in course-management systems and other electronic information such as pdfs, video content, and PowerPoint presentations.  Employees should contact the EIT Accessibility Coordinator with questions about electronic documents, devices or course-management systems. 

Individuals with accessibility issues related to individual courses, either through online learning or course-management systems, should contact the instructor and the EIT Accessibility Coordinator. 

Individuals responsible for procuring EIT will do so according to the University’s Accessible EIT Procurement Guidelines.  University employees involved in the acquisition of EIT will be trained regarding their responsibilities under this policy and the Accessible EIT Procurement Policy. 

Specific Provisions for Web Accessibility

The University’s websites are a major source of information for current, former and future members of the University community and third parties. 

Definition of University Website

A collection of web pages that the University makes available online through the World Wide Web for purposes of conducting official University business.  This policy does not apply to unofficial websites published by a student, University employee or by any organization not sponsored or controlled by the University.  

New or Revised Content

The University is committed to ensuring University webpages created or revised after the effective date of this policy are compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2.1.  Web content approvers are responsible for ensuring that new and revised content complies with the WCAG 2.1, Level AA Standards. 

Legacy Content

Legacy content is web content that was developed prior to the effective date of this policy.  The University will assess legacy web content on a periodic basis to determine compliance with the WCAG 2.1 Standards.  The University will modify legacy web content on a priority basis, with priority given to webpages with the most traffic or webpages with content that is most critical to students and faculty and staff. 

Individuals can also request that legacy web content be made available when content is inaccessible using the grievance procedure outlined below.  Priority will be given to individualized requests to make web content accessible.

Exceptions

In narrow circumstances, exceptions to this policy may be granted.  This policy does not require accessible EIT when compliance is not possible or would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden or result in a fundamental alteration.  To request an exception to the policy, contact the EIT Accessibility Coordinator.  A request must include a detailed description of why accessibility of the EIT would fall under one of these exceptions.

Grievance Procedure

Individuals who experience a barrier related to EIT should contact the EIT Accessibility Coordinator.  Complaints regarding EIT Accessibility can be filed by contacting the EIT Accessibility Coordinator or by using the following form. 

EIT Accessibility Contact Form

EIT Accessibility Complaints

In conjunction with Disability Resources, the EIT Accessibility Coordinator will review a submitted form or other information provided by a complainant.  The EIT Accessibility Coordinator, or their designee, will assess the complaint and the EIT at issue, using internal and external mechanisms to test EIT accessibility.  The EIT Accessibility Coordinator may consult, as appropriate, with other University offices, e.g., Human Resources, Disability Resources, the Center for Teaching and Learning, among others.  The EIT Accessibility Coordinator will determine a means of resolution of the accessibility issue, in most cases within 30 days of receiving the complaint.  The resolution will be communicated to the complainant.  If the determination is made that there is not an accessibility barrier, this will also be communicated to the complainant.