Web Accessibility Policy

Purpose

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is committed to providing barrier-free access to online content and functionality, ensuring that it is accessible to students, prospective students, employees, guests and visitors with disabilities.

Scope

This policy applies to all content hosted on a university server, as well as content accessed via a link from any EMU web page. EMU web content or applications developed by third-party vendors must also comply with this policy.

Compliance Standard

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA, have been selected as the designated compliance standard for this policy.

Responsibility for Implementation

EMU’s Executive Director of Integrated Content will serve as the university’s designated Web Accessibility Coordinator and is responsible for implementing and enforcing this policy.

Training

Accessibility training will be required of anyone who creates and adds content on Eastern Michigan University websites through the Content Management System (CMS). This includes the professional designers and developers creating the templates and the various page editors (administrators, faculty, staff) who add text and multimedia items.

The professional designers and developers who create the templates will be required to attend annual workshops so that they are current on all accessibility issues. They will then lead the training of page editors. All training will be facilitated by a person with sufficient knowledge, skill, and experience to understand and employ appropriate established technical standards.

Training for page editors will include reviewing the Web Accessibility Policy, with a focus on constituent roles and responsibilities in ensuring that all web design, documents and multimedia content comply with established standards.

Additionally, all instructors who use the Learning Management System (LMS) will be given required training on their roles and responsibilities.

The Web Accessibility Coordinator will receive annual reports detailing the list of training participants. Further, the Web Accessibility Coordinator will receive updated information or instruction annually so that he/she has the knowledge necessary to provide updated information to all staff.

Accessibility Audit

The University will conduct an annual accessibility audit using an appropriately vetted and qualified web accessibility product identified by the Web Accessibility Coordinator. Content will be measured against the technical standard of WCAG 2.0 Level AA. All issues identified in the audit will be documented, evaluated and, if necessary, remedied or removed within a reasonable period of time.

Further, because automated systems may not identify all issues related to access and the University’s technical standards, the Web Accessibility Coordinator, in conjunction with template designers and developers, will also manually ensure that alternative technical standards (e.g., skip navigation) afford persons with disabilities equal opportunity to obtain the same result as persons without disabilities. Any issues identified will be documented, evaluated and remedied, which may include the removal of non-compliant content.

Third-Party Content

Web applications developed by third-party vendors also must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance. All third-party content will be reviewed as part of the university’s annual accessibility audit. For new product purchases, the Web Accessibility Coordinator, who shall be appropriately trained in web accessibility issues, will evaluate products prior to purchase to ensure that products and services are accessible. This is done as part of an official third-party software purchase procedure that all EMU employees must follow. Third-party product or service requests that do not meet WCAG 2.0 standards will be denied.

Enforcement

The University will conduct an annual accessibility audit to ensure compliance with the WCAG 2.0, Level AA standard. Issues identified during the audit will be documented, evaluated and, if necessary, remedied within a reasonable period of time.

At the discretion of the Web Accessibility Coordinator, non-compliant content may be modified by designated staff or contractors to correct accessibility issues or temporarily removed until the issue is resolved.

External Applications, Content and Resources

The Web Accessibility Coordinator, or designee, will evaluate all web-based products to ensure WCAG 2.0, Level AA compliance, prior to their purchase.

Reporting

Accessibility issues should be reported to the Web Accessibility Coordinator, 15 Welch Hall, 734.487.5375, webcomm@emich.edu. Issues may also be reported using the link provided in all website footers or by completing the online web accessibility reporting form.