Policy for Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
Regis University is committed to being compliant with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Therefore, all electronic and information technology within Regis University must be made accessible to the widest range of users, especially those with the more common sensory, motor and cognitive disabilities, by adopting, as a minimum, all requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794d, Section 508, subpart B 1194.22.
Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) refers to the platforms and the content found within Regis University’s official websites, the online learning environment, such as the WorldClass learning management system and e-readers. EIT includes all instruction delivered with technology.
REASON FOR POLICY
Regis University strives to attract the highest caliber of faculty, staff, and students. In addition, the university recognizes that future education trends will utilize web space design to better serve web users with and without disabilities. These factors, coupled with the university’s overall commitment to a diverse and inclusive educational and work environment, merit a comprehensive university policy on EIT.
Regis University is focused on ensuring that EIT is accessible to all. Accessibility is not only a legal issue, but part of our Jesuit mission.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY
This policy affects all institutional departments and covers EIT used within or by a unit, faculty and staff. This includes systems created in-house, publicly available content and purchased vendor products, unless there is no viable alternative to the purchased vendor products. EIT utilized in a Classroom must meet accessibility standards and provide information in an alternative format as needed and when requested.
Regis Web Space to Which Web Accessibility Requirements Will NOT Apply
The following areas of Regis web space are not required to adopt Section 508 standards:
1. Unofficial websites
2. Archival websites
3. Inter-institution archives, databases, and collections
4. Websites and web pages created to:
a. Conduct research or experiments
b. Develop or utilize new technologies and applications for the web
c. Experiment with new workflow processes that involve web tools
5. Videotaping or audio recording of presentations, simulations, or student work
6. Undue burden: compliance with this policy would interfere significantly with teaching, research or public service mission. (NOTE: Undue burden requires documentation.)
TIMING FOR ADOPTION OF POLICY
The EIT policy should be adopted as soon as practicable within the normal parameters of university operations. Risks that attach to a failure to adopt include potential future legal liabilities, impediments to forming effective collaboration with academic and non-academic partners (examples: research, government, corporate, and community), barriers in communication to external audiences (examples: prospective students, media, and the academic community), and dilution of the university's outreach mission.
Regis University has committed to a timeline for adopting the EIT Policy as it applies to information on websites and web applications as follows:
Timeline for Implementing EIT policy
Web Page(s) or Site(s) to Comply
||All new and redesigned1 published official websites.
|January 1, 2016
||All new online courses
|Within two years of promulgation
||All existing administrative and academic official websites and all online academic courses
|Within three years of promulgation
||Academic research and outreach websites not previously exempted from ADA compliance.
|Within three years of promulgation
||All large-scale web applications developed completely within the university, by any unit
All licensed or open source web applications not purchased by Regis but in use within the Regis web space
|Within three years of promulgation, or upon the next renewal of contract with the vendor
||All web applications purchased from an external vendor1 or obtained under contract with other institutions
|Within five years of promulgation
||All official websites (subject to exceptions)
1 If the vendor does not offer a compliant product, all commercially reasonable market alternatives must be explored.
These definitions apply to terms as they are used in this policy.
Archival web site: A web site that is (a) intended to represent a historical snapshot of a course, research project, or other web information, and (b) not used to gather or disseminate information about any current course, currently active research project, or current administrative function of the university.
Assistive technologies: Adaptive, rehabilitative devices, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that promote greater independence for individuals with disabilities by changing how these individuals interact with technology. Assistive technologies include special input devices, such as a head or foot mouse, and screenreading software, which can read aloud for the user the details of material displayed on a monitor.
Classroom: A physical space, as opposed to website, where a class meets.
Electronic and Information Technology (EIT): The platforms and the content found within Regis University’s official websites, the online learning environment, such as the WorldClass learning management system and e-readers. EIT includes all instruction delivered with technology.
Official web site: A web site that has been created or sponsored by Regis University, its colleges, schools, departments, units, or other administrative offices and that is used in the process of conducting official University business. In addition, web applications—both those developed in-house and those purchased from outside vendors—are considered official.
Regis web space: The entire collection of websites whose purpose for existence can be legitimately connected with Regis University activities, including academic, research, and outreach activities. A web site may reside on a non-Regis web server, or may not have a Regis.edu domain name, but may still be considered part of the Regis web space.
Section 508 standards for accessibility: web design standards established through federal law and regulation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Unit: A school, college, department, program, centers, institute, office, or other operating unit within Regis University.
Unofficial website: A site published by an individual such as a student or a university employee, or by a non-university organization, which is hosted on university servers but does not conduct university business. These include:
- Student, faculty, and staff personal pages
- Pages created by students to fulfill academic requirements that do not fall within one or more of the categories of official websites
- Website that reside on Regis University servers that do not conduct university business, e.g., mirror sites
- Pages hosted on Regis servers that do not fall within the official website categories listed above
- Alumni class and organization pages
- Student organization pages
- Affiliate web pages
Web accessibility: The practice of making web pages more accessible to a wide range of users by applying specific design standards and programming that offers alternative forms of access and that enables assistive technologies to function effectively. The Section 508 requirements that this policy are based on can be found at www.section508.gov
Web application: Any software that delivers dynamically generated content intended to be rendered in a web browser.
Web page: A (web) document rendered by a markup language, (e.g., xhtml, html), independent of its transmission protocol (e.g., http) and user agent (browser/reader).
Website redesign: Any phase during the development or maintenance of a web site in which significant alteration or update is made to the visual design, institutional branding, information architecture, or technical functionality of the site. Minor content updates are not considered web site redesign projects.
Tony Crow, Associate Vice President
Marijo Williams, Director, Student Disability Services & Testing
Erika Hollis, Vice President and General Counsel
Jagan Gudur, Chief Information Officer
Approved by President’s Cabinet: July 31, 2015