Electronic & Information Technology Accessibility

 

 

POLICY MEMORANDUM
EQUAL ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

The University of Georgia (“UGA”) commits to ensuring equal access to information and communication technology (“ICT”) by all, including those with disabilities in all its educational and administrative services, programs and activities in compliance with federal law. Equal access is met when individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services in an equally effective and integrated manner as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use, unless doing so creates an undue burden on the University. ICT refers to information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content.  This policy statement is in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-336) (“ADA”), ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-325) (“ADAAA”), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (“USG”) has determined that Section 508 and its regulations may apply to USG institutions as recipients of funds through the Assistive Technology Act.   (https://www.usg.edu/siteinfo/web_accessibility_and_persons_with_disabilities)  USG has endorsed Web accessibility guidelines as established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/ )

To ensure accessibility, University administrators, faculty, and staff must create, obtain, and maintain all ICT in compliance with these standards. The standards apply to anyone who is involved in the development, maintenance, procurement or utilization of electronic and information technology to include but not limited to:

  • Academic Community (Faculty and their designates);
  • Procurement Personnel;
  • Website and Application Developers;
  • Digital Media Designers;
  • Instructional Technologists;
  • IT Professionals;
  • ….and more.  

ICT includes but is not limited to:

  • Computers and peripheral equipment;
  • Information kiosks and transaction machines;
  • Telecommunications equipment;
  • Customer premises equipment;
  • Multifunction office machines;
  • Software;
  • Applications;
  • Web sites;
  • Videos; and
  • Electronic documents.

 

Accordingly, all colleges, departments, and operation units must incorporate appropriate disability considerations into all new technology acquisitions, and must develop reasonable accommodations for the use of any existing technology in a timely manner after a disability-based limitation on such use is identified.  Some examples include:

  • Using web page design standards that improve accessibility for all, including those with disabilities;
  • Ensuring hardware and software products promote universal design and access; and
  • Designing and implementing work and study environments that accommodate all users.

 

In practice, this requires every department at UGA to reasonably accommodate those limitations on technology access experienced by individuals due to disabilities either at the time of the adoption of the particular technology where such limitations can be anticipated or later at the time an otherwise unanticipated limitation is identified. 

 

Helpful Resources:

What is Section 508https://www.section508.gov/tools/playbooks/technology-accessibility-playbook/intro

Legal Backgroundhttps://www.section508.gov/manage/laws-and-policies#508-policy

Introduction to Web Accessibilityhttps://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/

USG Accessibility Tutorialhttps://www.usg.edu/siteinfo/accessibility_tutorial/why_accessibility

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Web Contenthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwV3Uizl1Nk

Creating Accessible Word Documentshttps://www.section508.gov/create/documents

Creating Accessible pdfs: https://www.hhs.gov/web/section-508/making-files-accessible/index.html

For questions regarding this Policy Statement, please contact:

E. Janyce Dawkins
ADA/504 Compliance Officer

119 Holmes-Hunter Academic Building
Athens, GA  30602-1622
Telephone (706) 542-7912
Fax (706) 542-2822

ugaeoo@uga.edu
http://eoo.uga.edu

Revised: September 2018