Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Policy

Background

The World Wide Web (Web) is a major, if not a primary, source of information for many people. Acknowledging that the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point (University) is engaged in web development and publishing for all its constituencies, this policy establishes minimum standards for web accessibility.

Information made available electronically can be structured so that all individuals, regardless of disability, can access it via desktop or mobile web browsers, text-to-speech applications, mobile applications and a host of other technologies. Accessible design practices can ensure University documents are readable by all who need them. The University, along with UW System, endorses the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.0, of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as the standard for Web accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. W3C is composed of over 400 member organizations worldwide developing common protocols to promote the evolution of the Web and ensure its interoperability. As part of its work, the W3C has developed accessibility guidelines for the web. The standards of the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508 (Section 508) specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31, are consistent with the W3C Guidelines and provide achievable, well documented guidelines for implementation.

Policy

  1. All new or revised web pages and other web resources published, hosted or otherwise provided by the University must be in compliance with the web standards defined in the most recent version of Section 508. Additionally, it is strongly suggested that University web pages and resources strive to comply with the WCAG 2.0 AA standards for accessibility, or future versions that may replace those as web technology advances.
    1. Reasonable effort must be made to ensure that legacy web pages and resources are in compliance with Section 508 no later than September 1, 2017. That effort must be documented. Legacy web pages and resources will be considered those that are published prior to September 1, 2015.
    2. Upon specific request, information on legacy web pages and resources, as well as those in archive status (e.g. no longer in use but subject to records retention plans) containing core administrative or academic information, official records, and similar information, are to be made accessible to any individual needing access to such content, by revision or otherwise. The unit responsible for the information is responsible for providing that access as soon as possible.
    3. What constitutes a web page or other web resource is to be interpreted broadly. It does not depend upon the type of client or host device, the type of software on the client or host devices, or the technical means by which the client and host communicate over the Web.
  2. Web pages or resources specifically requested to be made accessible as part of a formal accommodation request shall be made accessible as soon as possible, or an equally effective alternative shall be provided. “Equally effective” means that it communicates the same information and provides, if possible, the equivalent functions in as timely a fashion as does the web page or resource.
  3. Campus developers shall implement accessible design practices when creating web applications. For web applications procured via a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process, accessibility must be included among the preferred product features. For all other Web applications, such as the library’s e-resources, accessibility must be considered during the selection process. Vendors whose products are under consideration will be asked to provide Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs).
  4. If a web application is not available in an accessible format, or if its purchase would constitute an undue burden, the reason for selecting an inaccessible product must be documented. For products procured through a RFP process, the selection of inaccessible products requires the approval of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO).
  5. All web pages or resources created or maintained by the University must contain a link to a contact where users having trouble accessing content can seek help. This would usually be the web developer or publisher. The addition of a link or contact person is not sufficient, in and of itself, to comply with the Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Policy.

Oversight

Implementation, training, education, technical support and the monitoring of compliance according to the standards and recommendations set forth in this policy will be overseen by the University Information Technology department.

Although the Disability and Assistive Technology Center (DATC) is not responsible for the enforcement, training or production of electronic accessible materials, the DATC will maintain a contact list of staff capable and willing to assist in the development of accessible materials so that developers may contact the DATC for referral information.

Each UWSP unit with a presence on the University Web, such as a department, division, organization, or program must be in compliance with accessibility standards according to the timelines established in this policy. Each unit is also responsible for insuring that adequate staff and financial resources are allocated to enable such compliance. Site authors are ultimately responsible for insuring that their web content is current, correct, functional, and standards­ compliant.

Policy Review

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed beginning no later than September 30, 2017 by a committee comprised of no less than 6 members drawn from the shared governance technology committee, the faculty, The Disability and Assistive Technology Center, the Library, Continuing Education, the office of the University ADA Coordinator, Information Technology, and a student - preferably a person with a disability who is affected by this policy. The the shared governance technology committee shall be responsible for forming the review committee. The review shall be a public process, open to comments and suggestions from other persons or units on campus.

Related Documents

Contact

Please direct questions about this policy to accessibility@uwsp.edu.

Information Technology Accessibility Implementation Procedures for the UWSP World Wide Web Accessibility Policy

Below are the implementation procedures for Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Policy. These procedures implement the UW-Stevens Point Information Accessibility Policy. The rationale is discussed in the background section of the policy.

  1. Recommended Assessment Procedures

    It is recommended that a variety of evaluation methods be used to test the accessibility of web pages and resources, including automated testing, client and/or device testing, expert evaluation, and user testing.

  2. Exception Procedure

    Narrowly tailored exceptions to this policy may be granted by the UWSP Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in specific instances where compliance is not possible or would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden. To request an exception send an email to accessibility@uwsp.edu.

  3. Training, Consulting, and Technological Tools

    Information about training, consulting, and technological tools can be found at the University Accessibility Resources page, as well as definitions and resources related to Section 508 and W3C.

Accessibility Policy Summary

  1. All new webpages and other web resources must comply with our minimum accessibility guidelines.
  2. UWSP will try to make all other web materials published prior to September 1, 2015 (legacy materials) accessible by September 1, 2017.
  3. Upon specific request legacy materials will be made accessible to anyone needing that material as soon as possible by the unit responsible for that material, or an alternative will be supplied that communicates the same information.
  4. Web applications developed on campus will be created using accessible design practices. Purchased web applications will have accessibility among the preferred product features. If the web application is not accessible, or buying it would be an undue burden then the reason must be documented.
  5. All web pages will have a link to a contact where users having accessibility issues can seek help.
  6. Implementation, training, education, technical support and the monitoring of compliance will be overseen by Information Technology, but each unit and site author is ultimately responsible for making sure their web content is accessible.