IT Accessibility Policy Implementation Guidelines

Working Draft

This page contains the most current draft of the Implementation Guidelines. It is subject to minor changes as the policy nears its final form.

This document supports the Information Technology Accessibility Policy as a supplemental guide for establishing the Implementation Plan called for by the Policy.

SEC. 1. Rationale

Required procedures must pragmatically and with due diligence address accessibility compliance on campus in a way that demonstrably shows progress toward full accessibility compliance over time. Individual's employed by the University have a responsibility to ensure accessibility compliance; however, the University bears the responsibility of providing adequate training and avenues of support that allow those individuals to successfully create, maintain and deliver accessible electronic information on campus. As such, the implementation guidelines in the sections that follow are proposed with the understanding that additional resources, including ways that individuals such as faculty can have materials they use made accessible, will be increasingly available.

SEC. 2. General Requirements

  1. The Implementation Plan shall address Electronig Information Technologies (EIT) as outlined in the Scope of the IT Accessibility Policy.
  2. Per the IT Accessibility Policy, EIT shall meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Levels A and AA, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, as ammended, and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA)
  3. Administrators, faculty, staff, and students shall be notified of this Policy and the Implementation Plan.
  4. A metric shall be established for auditing and tracking accessibility compliance.
  5. Compliance targets (metrics and goals) must be reviewed annually to ensure substantive, measurable progress toward full IT accessibility compliance on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.
  6. All EIT developed or procured after the effective date of the IT Accessibility Policy shall be developed or procured in such a manner as to comply with the Policy.
  7. EIT existing prior to the effective date of the IT Accessibility Policy and that is in use is considered "legacy" EIT (see definitions for Legacy and Archived). Legacy EIT is not exempt from the Policy and will be brought into accessible compliance in an ongoing, prioritized process based on impact. When necessary, the Technology Accessibility Review Committee (TARC) will work with units to set priorities.
    • When any legacy EIT undergoes a redesign or other substantive change, it is now considered "new" and must be brought into compliance with the IT Accessibility Policy at the time of the change.
  8. The campus must implement an anonymous, accessible, and easily accessed method for reporting accessibility issues (such as a contact link on each web page).
  9. Campus must establish an accessible and easily identified mechanism for requesting that EIT be made accessible.
  10. It is each unit's responsibility to devise and maintain an appropriate alternative access plan when one is necessary. (See Accessibility Exceptions)
  11. Individuals, such as faculty, are required to work with their campus units to ensure that electronic materials they use are accessible.

SEC. 3. Recommended Procedures and Guidelines

SEC. 3.1 Course Instruction

  1. University faculty shall submit print materials, such as textbooks, to be used in the classroom to Alternative Media Services (AMS), at Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES), for conversion to alternative formats prior to the beginning of a course in which a student with a registered disability is enrolled. The exact manner of and timeline for submission shall be as defined in the text conversion procedures posted on the DRES website.
  2. University faculty shall submit videos to be used in the classroom to AMS, at DRES, for captioning and audio description, prior to the beginning of a course in which a student with a registered disability is enrolled. The exact manner of and timeline for submission shall be as defined in the video captioning procedures posted on the DRES website.
  3. Electronic documents, such as PDFs and Microsoft Word documents, used for the classroom shall be made accessible in courses in which a student with a registered disability is enrolled. Faculty members are encouraged to ensure that all electronic documents are accessible.
  4. Delivery methods for EIT used within the classroom must allow real time interaction for all students in order to ensure participation in discussions, whether in-class or online.
  5. Online courses and related content must be audited for accessibility compliance and made accessible prior to the start of the course.
  6. All Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and related content must be accessible prior to use for course instruction at the University.

SEC. 3.2 Electronic Materials Requirements

  1. An appropriate designated unit shall be equipped and staffed as necessary to accommodate requests for alternative media conversion (DRES currently performs media conversion for instructional materials). Alternative media conversion shall include but is not limited to: braille, large print, audio and digital text.
  2. Assistive technologies (such as text-to-speech software) must be able to read and announce the contents of electronic text (e-text/e-books).
  3. E-text readers (devices) must be functionally accessible allowing full operational interaction and control of the device.

SEC. 3.3 Multimedia Requirements

  1. University administrators, faculty, staff and other affiliated persons utilizing multimedia for the mission of the University shall ensure such media is captioned, subtitled, and where appropriate, audio described at the time of use.
  2. All training, informational and educational video and multimedia must be closed captioned and, where appropriate, audio-described.
  3. All information technologies used to view and interact with informational and educational video and multimedia, such as video players, must be accessible, e.g. keyboard support is present for users who are blind and those who cannot use a mouse.

SEC. 3.3 Web Accessibility Requirements

  1. Web accessibility shall be considered throughout the development process and life-cycle for websites, web applications, and their related content.
  2. Accessibility evaluation methods for websites and web applications must include manual testing as well as tool-based evaluation. Recommended methods for evaluating websites and web applications for accessibility compliance will be established.
  3. Each web page must clearly provide an anonymous, accessible method for reporting accessibility issues to website owners.
  4. Website owners shall bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that their websites, web applications and related content are accessible. This includes websites developed by a third-party for campus use.
  5. University web services that generate websites, such as the publish.illinois.edu (PIE) WordPress service, must provide templates that are accessible.

SEC. 3.4 Non Web-based Software Requirements

  1. The accessibility of non web-based software shall be considered throughout the development process and life-cycle of the software.
  2. Non web-based software deployed for the mission of the University must utilize the current accessibility application programming interfaces (APIs) of their target platforms.
  3. Accessibility evaluation methods for non web-based software must include manual testing as well as tool-based evaluation (where possible). Recommended methods for evaluating non web-based software for accessibility compliance will be established.
  4. Campus units are responsible for ensuring the accessibility of non web-based software that they deploy.

SEC. 4 Definitions

ACCESSIBLE
Resources are "accessible" when 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.
ARCHIVED
The term "archived" means EIT that existed prior to the effective date of this policy and are not currently in use, such as library materials in the stacks or data stored on backup media.
DELIVERY METHODS
The term "delivery methods" refers to the devices and methods used to transfer electronic materials to individuals for use. Examples would include websites, lab computers, tablets and other mobile devices, smart classroom technologies, digital signage, etc. See Related Information Technologies.
DISABILITY
Disability means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such an individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. This definition is in accordance with Section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, § 36.104 Definitions.
ELECTRONIC INFORMATION TECHONOLOGIES
Electronic information technologies (EIT) are computer hardware and software, operating systems, web-based information and applications, telephones and other telecommunications products, video equipment and multimedia products, that are used in the access, creation, conversion, dissemination, or duplication, of data or information utilized to facilitate the core missions of the University. The term is used inclusively in this policy to also include digital content; including course-assigned books, journals, articles, web pages, and videos, used by University students, faculty, or administrative personnel for the core missions of the University.
EQUALLY EFFECTIVE ACCESS
This phrase means that the core content, intent and functionality of an electronic material and/ or information technology must be perceivable, consumable and open to interaction by any user regardless of their capability. The end result must be accomplishable in comparable time, comparable effort and comparable independence for all users.
FUNCTIONALLY ACCESSIBLE
The term "functionally accessible" means that an information technology is readily usable by persons with disabilities, without respect to any particular accessibility law or standard.
LEGACY
The term "legacy" means EIT that existed prior to the effective date of this policy and that are currently in use or circulation (such as library materials).
WEBSITE OWNER
The term "website owner" means the individual or campus unit responsible for the creation and upkeep of a website and any related content. A "website host" is not by necessity a website owner and may or may not be responsible for the website content or its accessibility.
ELECTRONIC MATERIAL
The term "electronic material" means digital content including course-assigned books, journals, articles, multimedia, and web pages, used by students, faculty, or administrative personnel to facilitate the core mission of the University.
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
The term "emerging technologies" refers to technologies that are under development and are not ready for deployment in a full production environment. Often such technologies are innovative in nature and are deployed as part of a pilot study.
RELATED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The term "related information technology" means, (A) any electronic platform or delivery system used by students, faculty, or administrative personnel to access electronic materials; and (B) includes any hardware, software, and applications required for the manipulation, annotation, and dissemination of such electronic materials.

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