Web Accessibility Administrative Practice
Accepted: February 1st, 2011
Prepared by the Web Accessibility Committee, Margaret Londergan, Chairperson. (The Web Accessibility Committee is a subcommittee of the Web Standards Committee co-chaired by Rebecca Salerno and Craig Spanburg.)
Table of Contents
This Administrative Practice applies to all web content created or maintained by or for academic, administrative, or auxiliary units of Indiana University.
Web content is a fundamental means of delivering information and services and is an integral part of the university mission of teaching, research and public service. Indiana University is committed to making web content accessible to everyone including those with disabilities. By making web content accessible for those with disabilities, usability is improved for everyone. Web accessibility is especially important for web content delivering core institutional information such as content management systems for student course work, course catalogues, timekeeping, payroll, and other student and employee information services. This includes content that must be accessed in a limited timeframe for program participation or testing.Return to top
Administrative Practice Statement:
It is essential to the mission of Indiana University that everyone including those with disabilities be able to use web content. Therefore, Indiana University has adopted a Web Accessibility Administrative Practice supported by guidelines to create accessible web content published by academic, administrative, or auxiliary units of Indiana University. All elements of university web content that convey meaningful information should be accessible to and usable by those with disabilities. Accessible web content is the responsibility of all web content owners and developers at Indiana University.
All new and redesigned university web sites published by university colleges, programs, schools, departments or units are expected to follow this administrative practice. Archived web content that is inaccessible does not have to be converted to meet accessibility standards unless requested by an individual with a disability.Return to top
A link to the Indiana University Web Accessibility Administrative Practice statement and supporting documents and information should appear on Indiana University's highest-level web pages (i.e., all campus home pages and iu.edu pages). All university web content should include a clear method of contact (phone or email) for persons who may need assistance navigating or accessing web content.
Guidelines for web accessibility have been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C;http://www.w3c.org), the United States ACCESS Board (http://www.access-board.gov), and others. Drawing from these guideline documents and the best practices of many post-secondary institutions, Indiana University has created web accessibility guidelines for the development of accessible web content. Indiana University's web accessibility guidelines will be monitored and amended as changes to user agents, browsers and web delivery mechanisms are updated. The Indiana University-based web accessibility guidelines will include new trends in web development practices and encoding methods. Indiana University's web accessibility guidelines will be maintained and updated by groups listed below which will change as appropriate. A separate document containing the Indiana University web accessibility guidelines and other support tools will detail the steps to take for creation of accessible web content.
Indiana University's commitment to web accessibility includes support for web content owners and developers to ensure that they will have the skills and resources to create accessible web content. This support will be developed and maintained by the University Information Technology Services Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers and others.
Questions about inaccessible Indiana University web content should be directed to the web content owners and developers as well as the University Information Technology Services Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers for remediation and provisional alternative access.Return to top
- Adaptive Technologies
- These are assistive, rehabilitative devices or methods that promote greater independence for individuals with disabilities by changing how these individuals interact with technology. Adaptive technologies include special input and output devices, such as a head or foot mouse, and screen-reading software, which can read aloud for the user the details of material displayed on a monitor.
- Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers (ATACs)
- The University Information Technology Services office that provides alternate content when needed for users who are unable to access portions of web pages due to hearing, mobility, learning, or vision disabilities. The ATACs also provide detailed web accessibility evaluations.
- Archived Web Content
- Web content created by Indiana University colleges, programs, schools, departments or units preserved for continuity of institutional data and information.
- Meaningful Information
- Web content that contributes to the purpose of the site or page.
- University Web Sites
All web content created or maintained by or for academic, administrative or auxiliary units of Indiana University regardless of whether the sites are hosted on university servers (departmental or central) or external servers. This includes web sites of professional associations and publications that are formally hosted, maintained or operated by faculty or staff of the university.
All other web sites hosted on university servers (departmental or central) are encouraged to adhere to the Indiana University Web Accessibility Administrative Practice.
- User Agent
- A user agent is the client application used with a particular network protocol; the phrase is most commonly used in reference to applications that access the World Wide Web. Web user agents range from web browsers and e-mail clients to search engine crawlers ("spiders"), mobile phones, and screen readers used by people with disabilities. When Internet users visit a web site, a text string is generally sent to identify the user agent to the server.
- Web Accessibility
- The practice of making web content accessible by applying specific principles for web design and programming that enable assistive technologies to function properly.
- Web Content
- A web document or page rendered by a markup language, independent of its transmission protocol and user agent.
- A web application or any software that delivers dynamically generated content intended to be rendered in a user agent.
- A web site consisting of any collection of web pages residing under a single domain or user account and whose content is centered around a single organizational unit or workgroup, a university course, a research or business activity, or an area of academic content.
- Web Content Owners and Developers
- Any faculty, student or staff at Indiana University charged with creating and/or maintaining the web content of a university web site.
Related Policies, Laws and Documents:
Several federal statutes provide the ethical and legal guidance that are the framework for web accessibility compliance. These are:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended); http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended); http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/reg/narrative.html
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; http://www.section508.gov/docs/Section504.pdf (PDF, 16KB)
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=1998Amend
- The Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Section 255 (as amended);
These Resources Provide Information Regarding Web Accessibility:
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); http://www.w3.org/WAI/
Administrative Practice Steward
ADA Compliance Office
Paul Sullivan, Projects and Facilities
Bryan Hall 205, IUB
Julie Knost, Director, University Office of Affirmative Action
Poplars 825, IUB
For appeals or charges of discrimination, contact the Office of Affirmative Action.
University Information Technology Services Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers
IUB: (812) 856-4112
IUPUI: (317) 274-6482
UITS ATAC Web Accessibility Evaluation Services
The UITS Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center (ATAC) offers free accessibility evaluations of web site interfaces and content. The ATAC as provides training and support for the development of a wide variety of accessible web interfaces and content ranging from single pages to enterprise systems spanning multiple institutions. Evaluations include provision of code example remedies for inaccessible web site interfaces and/or content. Additionally, we provide developers a deeper insight into the challenges of information access faced by people with disabilities.
UITS ATAC Web Accessibility Evaluation Request Form:
Temporary User-based Remedies for Inaccessible Web Sites
The UITS Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center (ATAC) is available to provide alternate access to web content that is inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. These individual remedies are not a replacement for the goal of having accessible user interfaces and content for all Indiana University web sites. Faculty, students and staff with disabilities who are unable to successfully access web content should contact either or both of the following:
IUB: (812) 856-4112
IUPUI: (317) 274-6482
Web Accessibility Guidelines Maintenance
Web Accessibility Committee
University Information Technology Services Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center (ATAC)
Web Standards Committee