Digital Resource Accessibility Policy

Policy Statement

The purpose of this Policy is to maximize accessibility to UIS digital materials and resources for individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable State and Federal laws and University policies. For purposes of this Policy, “accessible” means a person with a disability is afforded 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. UIS will observe the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A and AA, as may be updated and amended from time to time.

Application

This Policy pertains to digital materials and related information technologies necessary to carry out the mission of the University. Areas within the scope of this Policy include but are not limited to:

  1. Digital materials and multimedia, (e.g. videos, audio recording, graphic tags, alt-text, documents created with a word processor such as Word or Pages, or spreadsheet software such as Excel or Numbers, Presentations, such as Keynote or PowerPoint and PDFS)
  2. University websites, web-based applications, and their related content
  3. Software applications and operating systems
  4. Devices used to deliver information technology (tablets and other mobile devices, etc.)
  5. Procurement of information technology

This Policy does not apply to websites, multimedia and other digital materials that are not controlled by the University (e.g. student group websites, social media providers, etc.)

Responsibilities

A.   All faculty, staff and administrators, shall:

  1. If developing, adding to, retrofitting or otherwise modifying existing digital materials for which they are the creator, save documents in a universal format and, if applicable, have embedded text descriptions for graphics. Also provide a written transcript of audio content at the time of creation.
  2. If developing video content, save documents in a universal format and provide captions and transcript for associated video.
  3. If using digital materials for which the faculty, staff or administrators are not the creator, select digital materials that are closed-captioned, subtitled, or contain descriptive audio and appropriate graphic text tags. Faculty, staff and administrators should not refer users to non-University controlled websites, multimedia and other digital materials that are not accessible.
  4. If digital materials for which the faculty, staff or administrators are not the creator are essential to the academic goals of a course or program but are not accessible, they must seek permission from the copyright holder to modify the materials. If the materials are not essential, alternative materials should be selected that accomplish the same academic or programmatic goal but are accessible for people with or without disabilities.
  5. Cooperate with the Office of Disability Services if accommodations are necessary to facilitate accessibility by students with disabilities and cooperate with the Office of Access and Equal Opportunity if accommodations are necessary to facilitate accessibility by employees or members of the public.

B. Each College shall:

  1. Ensure the review of new course or program materials for compliance with this Policy.
  2. Assist faculty and staff in determining if non-accessible materials are essential to the academic goals of a course and if so, facilitate efforts to seek permission of copyright holders to modify the materials to make them accessible.

C. The Division of Academic Affairs shall:

  1. Provide professional development, training, and technical support for faculty and staff involved in the creation of accessible online resources.
  2. Provide consultation in the creation or adoption of digital materials via the Campus Accessibility Specialist.

Questions

A. If unable to access digital materials:

  • Students should alert the course instructor about the concern. If the concern is not resolved, contact the Office of the College Dean.
  • Employees should alert their immediate supervisor. If the concern is not resolved, contact the Office of Human Resources.
  • Members of the Public should contact Public Relations at (217) 206-6716.

B. Faculty, Staff and Administrators who need assistance with making digital materials accessible should contact the Center For Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) at colrs@uis.edu or (217) 206-7317.

Resources

Managing and Evaluating Web Accessibility for your Website (UIS)

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments: Chapter 5: Website Accessibility Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Approved by Chancellor’s Cabinet & Chancellor 3.27.18

Effective 3.27.18

Digital Resource Accessibility Policy (PDF)