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Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Standards

1.1 Standards Overview

Authority

These standards are authorized under USU Policy 5XX Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility (available at www.usu.edu/xxx) and are maintained by the EIT Accessibility Steering Committee under the direction of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

A current copy of this document will be maintained at https://accessibility.usu.edu/policy/standards.

Revisions

The standards will be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as needed under the direction of the EIT Accessibility Steering Committee.

1.2 Definitions

Electronic and Information Technology includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information[1].

Accessible means that individuals with disabilities can independently access the equivalent electronic and information technology experiences available to individuals without disabilities.

Individual with a Disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

1.3 Standards

The current standard for the USU EIT Accessibility is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) level AA found at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were developed by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the level AA standard is well established as an acceptable standard to provide accessible environments and comply with applicable state and federal laws. More information available in Addendum A.

The WCAG Guidelines can be applied to both web and other EIT. Additional resources for understanding and applying the WCAG can be found in Addendum B.

Scope of University Accessibility Standards

The University Accessibility Standards apply to all University electronic and information technology with consideration given to the Prioritization Guidelines listed below and the exemption process where application of the standards would create an undue burden.

Electronic and information technology includes the categories below:

Websites, Web Applications and Software

This includes all websites, web applications and software including but not limited to:

  • Public and password protected websites.
  • Online textbooks and other course support materials.
  • Desktop, mobile, and web applications.
  • EIT resources developed internally or purchased from vendors.
  • Software on University computer labs.

Hardware (computers, copy machines)

This includes all EIT hardware including but not limited to:

  • Computers and peripherals
  • Copy machines, scanners
  • Kiosks
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Classroom technology (i.e. clickers, tablets, assistive listening systems)

Electronic Files

All file types including the following:

  • Documents including:
    • Word processing documents
    • Presentations
    • Spreadsheets
    • PDF documents
  • Media including:
    • Images
    • Videos
    • Audio
    • Rich media and animations

1.4 Procedures and Compliance

Prioritization Guidelines

The following considerations are used to direct the prioritization of EIT Accessibility efforts:

Accommodation Requests

When an accommodation is requested by an individual with a disability, the University will ensure the individual has equitable access to the identified EIT resource. Consideration may also be given to resources anticipated to be required and/or requested by an individual with a disability.

Impact

Impact will be measured using the following considerations:

  • Audience Size: Resources that are widely distributed are prioritized over resources with a limited audience.
  • Necessity: Core resources that are essential to the University experience are prioritized over those that are transitory.
  • Anticipated product life: Resources intended to be used for a longer time are prioritized over those that are transitory.
  • Availability: When access to content is controlled by password or other means and user needs can be anticipated then consideration to addressing accessibility problems reactively.

State of Technology

New and Updated Technology

Any new technology where the acquisition or development process was initiated 6 months after the date of the policy approval will be compliant with the University Accessibility Standards. Any exception to new accessibility that does not meet the USU EIT Accessibility Standards must receive an exemption through the USU EIT Accessibility Steering Committee.

Existing and Legacy Technology

Existing and legacy University EIT that is not accessible will be prioritized for remediation based on priority guidelines above.

Evaluation

All new EIT should be evaluated per the University Accessibility Guidelines and the Prioritization Guidelines. Existing and legacy EIT will be evaluated as needed.

Remediation

When accessibility problems are identified through the evaluation a plan will implemented to remediate those problems or provide equitable access in a reasonable timeframe.

The remediation process should:

  • Identify and prioritize the issues that need to be fixed.
  • Approve a project plan to address and remediate the issues to meet the USU EIT Accessibility Standards based on a mutually decided timelines.

For off-the-shelf software the vendor will be contacted, the accessibility issue reported and efforts made to obtain a commitment of when the issue will be resolved. Remediation may require accessibility expertise and other resources.

Exemption Process

If an accessible solution is not possible or provides an undue burden to the product owner, then an exemption may be requested. The EIT Accessibility Steering Committee provide a process for any product to request an exemption to the USU EIT Accessibility Standards. The process will require that exemption provide alternative process to allow the individual to accomplish the same task.

Complaint and Grievance Process

The EIT Accessibility Steering Committee will establish a process for anyone to lodge a complaint to report any accessibility issues and a process to respond to those complaints.

In addition, a process will be established to file an official grievance and set a reasonable standard of timeliness to resolve the grievance.

1.5 Responsibilities and Resources

EIT Accessibility Steering Committee

Members of the committee are appointed under the direction of the Executive Vice President and Provost. The committee may include the following individuals:

  • Representative from Disability Resource Center
  • EIT Accessibility Coordinator
  • Representative from Academic and Instructional Services
  • Representative from the Office of Information Technology
  • University Webmaster
  • University ADA Coordinator
  • Others as needed

It is recommended that the committee will meet at least quarterly. The responsibilities of the committee include:

  • Review, approve and implement the University EIT Accessibility Standards.
  • Support EIT accessibility marketing efforts
  • Provide an EIT accessibility training program
  • Oversee the EIT accessibility evaluation, remediation, grievance and exemption processes.
  • Other responsibilities as determined by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Addendum A Federal and State Accessibility Requirements

  1. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act
  3. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

Addendum B Resources

General Accessibility Issues

  1. 1WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind
  2. National Center on Disability and Access to Education
  3. Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT)

[1] Section 508 Standards - United States Access Board." United States Access Board. N.p., 21 Dec. 2000. Web. 24 Oct. 2016