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8.11 / Accessible Content

I.  Policy Statement

Wichita State University is committed to making all websites, web-based applications, Learning Management Systems (LMS), and instructional materials accessible to its students, faculty, staff, and participants who have disabilities. Accessibility standards are based on ADA, Section 504 requirements and applicable regulations. Conformance to this policy does not negate the responsibility of Wichita State University to ensure that accessible technology and course content complies with applicable accessibility standards (see section IV.)

II.  Implementation

A.  WSU is dedicated to fully implementing the standards listed below and providing accessibility to all instructional materials and related technologies. For students enrolled during the implementation period all technologies and instructional materials will, to the best of the University’s ability, be accessible to students at the same time they are accessible to other students enrolled in that program.

1.  All University owned or contracted content, interfaces, and navigation elements to be used by WSU faculty, staff, students, or other WSU constituencies will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and will be accessible to people with disabilities.

2.  All instructional materials, co-curricular materials, Electronic and Information Technology (EIT), LMS’s, and online courses created or used by a WSU department or instructional staff with any WSU academic course offering will be accessible to students with disabilities, and at the same time as they are available to any other student enrolled in that setting, to the best of WSU’s ability.

3.  Any educational materials or content that is required, optional, or for enrichment for any WSU student will be accessible or an equally effective alternate access will be provided.

4.  Website development and purchases, including development and purchases for major revisions and updates of existing WSU websites, will conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA.

5.  Vendors seeking to develop or provide websites or web-based applications for WSU must demonstrate that their products satisfy WCAG 2.0 AA success criteria. Vendors will be required to warrant in writing that any technology provided is accessible.

6.  Third party websites on which WSU places content or uses for web services will conform to WCAG 2.0AA, unless appropriate and equally effective alternate access is provided.

7.  Each WSU website should contain “accessibility” contact information for the webmaster or the WSU Accessible Technology Specialist.

8.  WSU will provide mandatory training in ADA requirements, accessibility standards, and creation of accessible instructional materials to all individuals with instructional responsibilities

9.  WSU shall monitor compliance with standards and guidelines and inform instructional staff and content developers who have failed to meet standards, and will provide direction and guidance to remediate barriers in a timely way.

10.  All websites, web-based applications, LMS’s, and instructional materials will conform to accessibility standards as defined in section IV.

III. Exceptions 

A.  Any non-accessible instructional materials required, optional, or for enrichment must be approved in writing by the Provost and Senior Vice President or designee prior to ordering. 

B.  In rare situations, conformance to WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines may be an “undue burden” due to the nature of the content, purpose of the resource, lack of accessible solutions, or an unreasonably high administrative or financial cost necessary to make the resource meet that goal. These difficulties do not relieve WSU programs and activities from meeting applicable legal obligations to provide reasonable accommodations to users in regard to access to the content and services provided. In cases where undue burden is determined, WSU programs and activities must provide content and/or services in a suitable alternative format (for example, electronic text file or audio description) or manner upon request.  In cases where there is an undue burden, WSU should seek to provide auxiliary aids and services if possible. An exception based on an undue burden must be approved in writing by the Provost and Senior Vice President or designee.

C.  Some programs and courses offered by the University may be subject to technical standards that have implications for accessibility requirements. In these instances, the University will make these programs and courses accessible to the degree defined by the technical standards. Technical standards do not relieve WSU programs and activities from meeting applicable legal obligations to provide reasonable accommodations to users in regard to access to the content and services provided. Exceptions based on technical standards must be approved in writing by the Provost and Senior Vice President or designee.

IV.  Accessibility Standards

A.  Accessibility standards are based on ADA, Section 504 requirements and applicable regulations, and will be updated as new standards emerge.

1.  WCAG 2.0 AA and WAI-ARIA 1.0 for web content

2. 
ATAG 2.0 for software used to create web content

3. 
UAAG 1.0 for web browsers, media players and assistive technologies

4. 
WCAG21CT for non-web software and content

5. 
MathML 3.0 specifications for digital mathematical and scientific notation

6. 
DAISY or ePub3 for digital publications and documents

7.  
BANA Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics (2010) and Guidelines for the Production of Braille Materials through the use of Braille Production Software (2007) for hardcopy Braille

8. 
ADAAG and other standards for the accessible design of ATMs, personal computers, and other classroom technology

V.  Definitions

A.  AccessibleIndividuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe as a person without a disability, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

B.  Electronic and Information Technology (EIT): EIT 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. EIT includes, but is not limited to, the internet and intranet websites, content delivered in digital form, electronic books and electronic book reading systems, search engines and databases, learning and other content management systems, classroom technology and multimedia, personal response systems (clickers), and office equipment such as classroom podiums, copiers and fax machines. It includes any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, creation, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information EIT includes telecommunications products, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), transaction machines, computer, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.   

C.  Learning Management Systems (LMS): LMS means a software application, whether used in a single course, by a department, by a college or by a school, or across the university, which WSU makes available to students and uses to plan, create, administer, document, track, report, deliver, or maintain electronic educational courses,  course content, or assess student performance. 

D.  Undue Burden: Undue burden means significant difficulty or expense. An undue burden is a limitation in which an action is not required if it results in significant difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action would result in an undue burden, factors to be considered include:

1.  The nature and cost of the action needed under this part.

2.  The overall financial resources of the site or sites involved in the action; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses and resources; legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation (including crime prevention measures); or the impact otherwise of the action upon the operation of the site.

3.  The geographic separateness and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or entity.

Effective Date:
August 8, 2017
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