Minimum Digital Accessibility Standards

All information and communication technology (ICT) procured, developed, maintained, utilized, or otherwise provided to University employees, enrolled and prospective students, and to the general public, shall be both functionally and technically accessible to ensure that it is accessible to all users. The Minimum Digital Accessibility Standards (MDAS) provide functional requirements supported by technical accessibility standards to help ensure accessibility across a variety of electronic resources and information technology areas of use, including but not limited to:

  • Websites and web applications
  • Electronic documents (PDF, MS Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Email, including newsletter and marketing materials
  • Multimedia content
  • Course content and training materials
  • Non-web-based software and applications, including mobile applications
  • Devices utilized in classrooms (such as clickers, smart room controls, and presentation equipment), computer labs, and other areas designed for on-campus general use

All ICT that has an interactive user interface is subject to the MDAS requirements.

Technical Requirements

ICT that meets technical accessibility requirements is coded or otherwise constructed in a way that conforms with mandated or recommended accessibility standards. Conformance with such standards may be objectively assessed via automated and manual accessibility evaluation.

ICT at the University must conform to the furthest extent possible with the following technical standards:

  1. Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA requirements, as referenced in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 508), and the Illinois IT Accessibility Act (IITAA).
    • Web sites, web applications, and non-web-based software applications are included in this category.
  2. Software developed internally or jointly with an external entity for utilization by the University must meet the WCAG 2.1 Level AA requirements.
    • Web sites, web applications, and non-web-based software applications are included in this category.
  3. Web sites and web applications must utilize the most current recommended HTML, CSS, and JavaScript standards, as well as the WAI-ARIA 1.2 specification, according to the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.2.
  4. Non-Web ICT must apply WCAG 2.1 Level AA, as referenced in the Section 508 and the IITAA.
  5. ICT that would best be described as information or communication devices must meet the requirements of Section 508 and the IITAA for non-software ICT.
    • Embedded software interfaces, such as those found on e-readers, ATMs, and in printers, are included in this category.

Note: The WCAG 2.x standards are applicable to non-web and web-based ICT. See Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web ICT (WCAG2ICT). The WCAG2ICT guidance is still applicable for ICT conforming to WCAG 2.1.

Functional Requirements

ICT that meets functional accessibility requirements provide features and modes of operation that make the ICT usable by individuals with disabilities. To be functionally accessible, individuals with disabilities must be able to use the ICT to achieve the same goals or outcomes, as independently (i.e. without aid or assistance from another individual), in a similar timeframe, and with similar ease of use, as can those without disabilities.

The ICT must be usable by individuals with disabilities in the following modalities:

  • Without vision, where a visual mode of operation is provided
  • With limited vision, where a visual mode of operation is provided
  • Without perception of color, where a visual mode of operation is provided
  • Without hearing, where an audible mode of operation is provided
  • With limited hearing, where an audible mode of operation is provided
  • Without speech, where speech is used for input, control, or operation
  • With limited manipulation, where a manual mode of operation is provided
  • With limited reach and strength, where a manual mode of operation is provided
  • With limited language, cognitive, and learning abilities; making the operation of the ICT easier for individuals with limited cognitive, language, and learning abilities

Technology Support Requirements

The following software platforms and assistive technologies must be supported by ICT on campus:

  • All commonly utilized web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
  • Windows and MacOS platforms
  • Common iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Commonly utilized Screen Readers: JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver (macOS and iOS), Talkback (Android)
  • Commonly utilized text-to-speech applications; such as Kurzweil 3000, Read-Write Gold, ZoomText