Approval of Amendments to Policy Concerning Accessibility of Information Communication Technology
Effective Date: Dec. 4, 2018
The Chancellor or designee shall develop procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to the College District’s information and communication technology resources (ICT) similar to individuals without disabilities.
College District ICT resources shall comply with the most recent version of or successor standards for accessibility as established by law and/or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or their content and functionality made available to College District users on request in an equally effective and accessible alternative manner.
The Office of Institutional Equity shall oversee compliance with this policy.
This policy shall apply to the to the development, procurement, implementation, and continued maintenance of all ICT resources (including web-based resources used in College District courses) published, hosted, or used (including remotely hosted sites and software) by the College District to conduct College District business or College District-sponsored activities.
Effective Date: UPON APPROVAL
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES AND SYSTEMS
ACCESS BY INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
The College District shall, in accordance with its accessibility policy, and applicable laws, provide equal opportunity in and access to its information and communication technology (ICT) resources to ensure the broadest possible community participation in its mission.
Ensuring equal and effective access to College District ICT is the responsibility of all managers of College District departments, programs, or activities, including student organizations and activities (“Managers”).
The College District shall be guided by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), 2.0, Level AA standards for electronic and information technology accessibility, as well as the standards established by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) (TAC 206.70), which include standards established by Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended, (“Section 508”) (“Accessibility Standards”).
The Accessibility Standards set forth above establish only the minimum standard for ICT accessibility within the District. The District will endeavor to go beyond this minimum whenever possible.
The following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
Unless an exception applies:
College District personnel (including faculty) and students who are responsible for the development or management of ICT shall use good faith efforts, subject to the requirements set forth in this regulation and applicable laws, to update existing ICT to meet Accessibility Standards.
All new ICT, whether developed by the College District or purchased from an external vendor, shall comply with Accessibility Standards.
The College District shall incorporate Accessibility Standards into the development or implementation roadmap for all existing ICT, including websites and web applications, whenever such ICT is scheduled for an upgrade or a substantial revision.
Vendors seeking to develop or provide ICT for the College District must demonstrate that their products satisfy Accessibility Standards by completing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or the College District Accessibility Standard Form.
Each website published or hosted by the College District shall link to the College District’s Accessibility Notice, which includes a statement of the College District’s commitment to ICT accessibility and provides a way for persons to report ICT accessibility issues.
An exception to the College District accessibility policy may apply if compliance with Accessibility Standards would pose an undue burden to the nature of the content or the purpose of the ICT resource, result in a fundamental alteration or if compliance would result in unreasonably high administrative or financial costs (“Undue Burden”). Insufficient funds of a particular department or program will not be considered a valid reason for an exception.
A Manager may request an exception by completing the Accessibility Exception Request form, which must be submitted to the Office of Institutional Equity (the “OIE”) for review and consideration. The OIE, in consultation with the applicable Information Technology department and the affected department or program, will make a determination and notify the requesting party accordingly.
The approval of a request for an exception does not relieve a Manager from the obligation to provide reasonable accommodations regarding access to College District ICT resources. Managers to whom an exception is granted must ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the excepted ICT content and/or services are provided in a suitable alternative format. Alternates are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for persons with and without disabilities, but must afford persons with disabilities equal opportunity for a person with disabilities to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement.