Policy on Multimedia Accessibility

Purpose

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) has a longstanding commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities are afforded equal access to its programs, services, and resources, including materials using multimedia and related technologies. The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA). It creates the standards and procedures necessary for compliance, and it assigns responsibility for maintenance and enforcement

Scope

This policy applies to media content provided by Illinois. This policy realizes that for some types of emerging media, technologies may not exist for creating fully accessible versions. This policy also recognizes that there may be a lag between the introduction of new media and the time when it becomes possible to make that media fully accessible; however, and to the extent possible whenever such exists, it should be minimized.

Authority

The Chancellor’s Committee on Access and Accommodation, in consultation with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA), is responsible for ensuring adherence to this policy and its procedures.

Policy

The University of Illinois relies on administrators, faculty, and staff to provide equal access to all programs and activities for individuals with disabilities. The most effective means of providing equal access to media is through the use of products with open or closed-captioning, subtitles, and descriptive audio. It is the responsibility of all units/departments, administrators, faculty, and staff to utilize media products in adherence with IITAA.

  • All multimedia materials will adhere to this policy, all applicable copyright laws, and the associated standards referenced in this document.
  • Copyright materials may not be modified to meet the IITAA without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

Newly Created Media: It is the responsibility of the unit/department, administrators, faculty, students, and staff to:

  • use accessible media in classrooms when a student with a disability is present or when the classroom-intended media may be re-purposed;
  • purchase accessible media for students with disabilities as necessary;
  • produce media that is accessible for general distribution; and
  • select and use accessible media in public-facing situations.

Existing Non-Accessible Media: It is the responsibility of the unit/department, administrators, faculty, and staff to:

  • transition media materials into accessible products in a timely manner when requested by a person with a disability or when the media will be used in public-facing situations;
  • provide a system to allow users to request captioning of legacy content within a reasonable timeframe;
  • seek an alternative accessible media when it is not possible to make the original choice accessible; and
  • make a determination as to whether or not the media is essential to a course outline or may be eliminated from a syllabus.

Processes/Procedures/Guidelines

It is the responsibility of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to:

  • Determine reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services based upon documentation presented by the student.
  • Assist campus units in securing or producing accessible multimedia content to effectively accommodate the communication needs of qualified students with disabilities.
  • Provide general informative materials regarding:
    • accessibility criteria for multimedia;
    • University procedures for creating or securing accessible multimedia for students; and
    • requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the IITAA.

It is the responsibility of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) to:

  • Determine reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services based upon documentation presented by the employee.
  • Provide general informative materials regarding:
    • accessibility criteria for multimedia;
    • University procedures for creating and securing accessible multimedia for employees;
    • requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the IITAA; and
    • ensuring equal access to multimedia content provided by the University.

Exceptions

ODEA in consultation with the Chancellor’s Committee on Access and Accommodations will review reports of non-compliance and requests for exemption(s). Compliance with the IITAA is a regulatory requirement.

As per the IITAA, all requests for exemptions must include the following:

  • The subject line should read Request for IITAA Exemption;
  • Request must clearly demonstrate compliance methods attempted;
  • Request must clearly explain, in detail, why meeting requirements of the IITAA creates an undue burden. When claiming an undue burden, the requester must document why, and to what extent, compliance with each provision creates an undue burden, considering all resources available to the requester, and must be prepared to provide individuals with disabilities with the information and data involved by an alternative means in a timely manner ( see Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Standards 1.0, Web-based information and applications );
  • Request must include a plan for alternative methods for complying with the IITAA.

The University strongly supports the IITAA’s principles and goals, and will allow for exemptions as outlined in the regulations.

Contact

Assistant ADA/EEO Coordinator, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access, (217) 333-0885, diversity.illinois.edu