Electronic Information Technology Accessibility

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:  (1) ensure electronic and information technologies (“EIT”) developed, procured, maintained, used, or provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are accessible to individuals with disabilities; (2) ensure appropriate parties are notified of and can respond to complaints and queries about EIT accessibility concerns; (3) foster the University’s compliance with its legal and ethical responsibilities; and (4) enhance the reputation of the University regarding EIT accessibility.

Scope

This policy applies to all EIT developed, procured, maintained, or used by the University or provided by the University for use by its personnel, students, or the public.

Authority

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Policy

The University will implement federal and state law requirements for electronic technology accessibility through appointment and operation of a Technology Accessibility Review Committee (“TARC”). TARC shall report to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“OVCDEI”) and oversee the University’s electronic technology accessibility efforts, including the granting of exceptions. TARC will apply the standards set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended (“Rehabilitation Act”) and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (“IITAA”). The OVCDEI shall work with TARC to provide resources for compliance monitoring and to assist faculty, staff, and students with developing, procuring, maintaining, using, or providing accessible EIT.

Definitions

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. A person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.

Electronic and Information Technologies (EIT) means computer hardware and software, operating systems, web-based information and applications, telecommunications products, kiosks, and video equipment and multimedia products that are used to access, create, convert, disseminate, or duplicate data or information needed to facilitate the core missions of the University. EIT include digital content, including course-assigned books, journals, articles, web pages, and videos used by University students, faculty, or administrative personnel for the core missions of the University.

Equally Effective Alternative Access, with respect to electronic and information technology, means an alternative format, medium, or other aid that timely and accurately communicates the same content as does the original format or medium, and which is appropriate to an individual’s disability.

Policies/Procedures/Guidelines

  1. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“OVCDEI”) shall establish a technology accessibility review committee (“TARC”) responsible for the implementation, governance, and exceptions to this policy.
  2. The TARC, in consultation with OVCDEI, shall prepare and maintain an “Implementation Plan” containing processes, procedures, and guidelines for putting this policy into action. See https://go.illinois.edu/itaccessibility.
  3. The TARC shall manage the compliance monitoring structure and process.
  4. The TARC shall oversee and coordinate the University’s efforts to provide training and education to faculty, staff, and students on compliance with this policy.
  5. The TARC shall periodically review the accessibility guidelines and standards established by law, including without limitation the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Levels A and AA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the IITAA, to determine whether any revisions or updates to this policy or its implementing procedures are necessary.
  6. All EIT shall be reviewed for accessibility according to the Implementation Plan. Upon a finding of non-compliance by appropriate University authorities, and to the extent that individuals with disabilities are unable to perform their required functions, use of such EIT may be subject to discontinuance until the EIT is made to conform or an exception is granted.
  7. In instances where the TARC disapproves of an exception, the submitter may appeal to the OVCDEI as described in the Implementation Plan. Unapproved subject technology shall not be used.
  8. This policy shall be reviewed at least every three years.

Exceptions

Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted to the TARC, acting for the OVCDEI. Individuals requesting an exception must provide a plan that would provide Equally Effective Alternative Access, unless such an alternative is not possible due to technological constraints or if the intended purpose of the technology (e.g., virtual reality goggles) at issue does not allow for an alternative. The Implementation Plan shall describe expectations for how long exception processing will take.

Contact

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Interim contact: Danielle Morrison, Title IX and Disability Coordinator

844-616-7978