The University of Alabama, Office for Academic Affairs

Web Resources Accessibility Policy

Unit:  Office of Information Technology
Contact: Dr. Rachel Thompson
Title:  Director of Faculty Research Center
Effective Date: 10/1/2018
Revision Date: 10/01/2018


 
 

Purpose

The University of Alabama (UA) is committed to ensuring equal access to information, programs, and activities for all its constituents. All University web resources will be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Policy

The University adopts Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA (includes A) (“WCAG 2.0 AA”) as its standard to address the accessibility of public-facing web resources, campus-wide web resources, and web resources needed to conduct core University administrative and academic functions. The policy includes web resources created by third parties and used by the University. These guidelines were produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as part of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

All web resources, both active and legacy, must comply with WCAG 2.0 AA standards or be in an equally effective accessible format to individuals with disabilities. The unit responsible for the web resource is responsible for policy compliance. Newly created, procured and/or redesigned web resources put into use on or after the effective date of this policy must be compliant upon publication. Existing, active web resources and legacy web resources must be compliant with this policy or receive approval for temporary exemption by November 15, 2019. Legacy web resources exempted from the WCAG 2.0 AA standards must include readily available contact information in an accessible format to receive access requests.

Statement of Accessibility on all Webpages and Web-based Applications

All web pages and web-based applications must display in a consistent location (e.g., in the banner or footer) a link to http://accessibility.ua.edu/statement or the following statement:

The University of Alabama is committed to making its web resources accessible to all users and welcomes comments or suggestions on access improvements. Please report access issues, comments, or suggestions on accessibility to accessibility@ua.edu or 205-348-0216.

Exemptions from the Policy

When compliance (1) is not technically possible or may require extraordinary measures due to the nature or intent of the web resource, or (2) would result in a fundamental alteration of the web resource and not satisfy the original intent, a request for exemption may be made by submitting a Temporary Accessibility Policy Exemption and Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP) to accessibility@ua.edu. The request for a temporary policy exemption must be based on issues other than cost alone. Temporary exemptions will be evaluated and approved on a case by case basis.

Non-Compliance

All web resources will be periodically audited by Office of Information Technology, Technology Accessibility staff for compliance with the guidelines adopted in this policy. An audit may also be initiated based on user complaint. Units responsible for non-compliant web resources will be notified that they have 30 days to repair the web resource, voluntarily remove the non-compliant web resource, or petition for an exemption to the policy by submitting an EEAAP. If, after 30 days, the web resource is not in compliance with this policy or exempted based on the submission of an EEAAP, the web resource may be removed from public access until it is made compliant.

Training and Resources

The University of Alabama provides accessibility information and resources on the Technology Accessibility website. In addition, the University offers training opportunities regarding web resource accessibility. Some employees, depending on their specific roles and responsibilities, may be required by supervisors or area policy to complete web resource accessibility training. All requests for assistance in following or implementing this policy can be sent to accessibility@ua.edu.

Further Information

For questions or additional information please contact accessibility@ua.edu or 205-348-0216 or visit the Technology Accessibility website.

Definitions

  • Accessible – Web resources that allow a person with a disability 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. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.
  • Active web resources – Web resources created, put into use, and/or substantially revised on or since November 15, 2015, and web resources put into use at any time that remains necessary to core UA administrative and academic functions.
  • Equally effective accessible format – (1) for web resources, an alternative format that communicates the same information in as timely a fashion as does the original web resource; (2) for interactive applications, an alternative format that allows the user action (e.g., registration) to be accomplished in a comparable time and with comparable effort by the user.
  • Legacy web resources – web resources that are no longer edited or kept current, that were put into use before November 15, 2015, including those that are kept for archive, reference, or retention purposes.
  • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) - an effort by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web for people with disabilities.
  • Web resources – web applications, web pages, videos, images, documents (including pdf’s), and other digital materials delivered via the web.
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web.

Scope

This policy applies to anyone responsible for creating, dissemination, selecting, or purchasing web resources on behalf of UA (students, faculty, staff, contractors, and volunteers).

 
 

Office of the Provost

Approved by Joel Brouwer, Associate Provost, 10/01/2018