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. Please see our website for information about compliance.
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 Electronic and Information Technology.
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, open source content, and purchased vendor products. For purchased vendor products, Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) may be considered evidence of a product’s accessibility. EIT utilized in a Classroom and official websites must meet accessibility standards and provide information in an alternative format as needed and when requested.
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 adopting the EIT Policy as it applies to information on websites, course content and web applications as follows:
All new online courses and official websites.
All purchased, procured, or designed software and web applications
Upon Redesign or identified need.
All existing online courses and official websites.
Where conformance with this policy would create an undue burden, exceptions to this policy may be granted by Regis University. Requests for exceptions must be documented and submitted to the Regis University Accessibility Council Chair pursuant to the process in Appendix A.
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.
Course Redesign: substantial updates, design, or architectural changes to a course that goes beyond simple text or content changes.
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.
Fundamental alteration. When making a portion of the EIT compliant would require a fundamental system change which would materially impact its use by other constituents, conformance with this policy may be waived.
Official website: 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. Unofficial websites are not covered by this policy.
Section 508 standards for accessibility: web design standards established through federal law and regulation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Undue burden: compliance with this policy would interfere significantly with teaching, research, or public service mission, or would be an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamental alteration. (NOTE: Undue burden requires following the process in Appendix A).
Unit: A school, college, department, program, center, institute, office, or other operating unit within Regis University.
Unofficial websites: 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, such as faculty blogs, social media, or personal website pages.
- Pages created by students to fulfill academic requirements that do not fall within one or more of the categories of official websites
- Websites 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
- Archival websites
- Inter-institution archives, databases, and collections
- Websites and web pages created to:
- Conduct research or experiments
- Develop or utilize new technologies and applications for the web
- Experiment with new workflow processes that involve web tools
- Videotaping or audio recording of student presentations, simulations, or other student work
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 website 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
Appendix A: Accessibility Exception Procedure
Narrowly tailored exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Accessibility Council in specific instances where compliance is not possible or would create an undue burden.
An undue burden occurs when compliance with this policy would interfere significantly with teaching, research, or public service mission or would be an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamental alteration.
A request for an accessibility exception may be submitted to the Accessibility Council, c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
A request for an exception shall include the following:
- explanation of the undue burden
- Justification for the exception
- Plan for alternative means of access for persons with disabilities
- Date of exception’s expiration
The Accessibility Council Chair will maintain records of all exception requests.
University faculty and staff must provide content and/or services if granted such an exemption in a functionally equivalent accessible manner upon request, as required by law.