SUNY Jefferson

Technology Accessibility Policy

PURPOSE:

Jefferson Community College is committed to providing equal access to persons with disabilities by ensuring our digital content is accessible by everyone regardless of physical or cognitive ability.  This policy establishes standards for technology accessibility necessary to meet this goal and comply with state and federal laws, including but not limited to The Americans with Disabilities Act (PL 110-325 (S 3406)), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.) of the US Department of Health and Human Services regulations implementing the Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220).

SCOPE

This policy applies to all persons and programs that

  1. create digital content on behalf of Jefferson Community College OR
  2. acquire, implement or maintain software or digital services on behalf of Jefferson Community College.

STATEMENT OF POLICY:

  1. Jefferson Community College has adopted Web Content Accessibility Guideline WCAG 2.0 AA (or current version mandated by law) as its standard to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
  2. All active digital content must comply with the technology accessibility standard defined in this document. Archived digital content need not comply unless it returns to active status or is requested by an individual needing compliance.
  3. Software Applications and Digital Services must comply with the technology accessibility standard defined within this document and include proof via a VPAT and accessibility testing by campus representatives.  Software applications and digital services compliance will be reviewed at least annually.
  4. All new software applications, digital services, and third-party web services, shall be reviewed including proof via a VPAT and accessibility testing by campus representatives before contracting/purchasing
  5. The Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the President, or his/her designee, to develop and establish appropriate standards and procedures to implement and enforce this policy.

EXEMPTIONS

The following circumstances may qualify as exemptions from this policy (all require a request for exemption):

  1. Where compliance is not technically possible or may require extraordinary measures due to the nature or intent of the information resource, application or service. Lack of sufficient funding for any particular college, department, program or unit of the College would not be considered for an exemption.
  2. Where compliance would result in a fundamental alteration of the software application or digital service and not satisfy the original intent.
  3. Where, in the case that software applications and digital services that are procured through third party vendors or contractors; and that no alternative accessible products are available from other third party vendors or contractors, procurement can be made of a non-compliant product.
  4. Where the product is not currently in compliance, but efforts are underway to fix the defects by a defined date.

Requesting an Exemption from the Policy
Purchasers and developers of software applications and digital services may request exemption from meeting the requirements of this policy by completing the Request for Technology Accessibility Exemption Form, then submitting it to the Chair of the Technology Accessibility Advisory Committee for review and approval (if determined to be a justifiable reason for exception.)

DEFINITIONS

Accessible:  digital content is available and consumable by everyone regardless of physical or cognitive ability.

Accessible format:  the structure and composition of digital documents and applications that are readable and usable by people with disabilities, using assistive technologies.

Archived Digital Content:  content that is no longer available to a wide audience but is subject to record retention plans

Digital Content:  includes web pages, video and audio files, email message, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, library databases and other digital materials

Disability: as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as “any mental or physical condition that substantially limits an individual’s ability to perform one or more major life activities.”

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.):   prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220):   requires federal agencies to develop, procure, maintain and use information and communications technology (ICT) that is accessible to people with disabilities - regardless of whether or not they work for the federal government.

Software Applications and Digital Services:  includes social media, websites, databases, web- and computer-based software applications

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT): is a document which evaluates how accessible a particular product is according to the WCAG 2.0 AA standards.  It is a self-disclosing document produced by the vendor which details each aspect of the WCAG 2.0 AA requirements and how the product supports each criteria.

WCAG: The Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines (WCAG) were developed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) to provide a “single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations and governments.”

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Web Accessibility (https://sunyjefferson.edu/accessibility/)

Service Animal Policy (https://sunyjefferson.edu/academics/programs/catalog/service-animals-on-campus.php)

 

 

 

TECHNOLOGY ACCESSIBILITY POLICY
APPROVED:  Res. 113-21, March 2021