The creation and dissemination of knowledge is a defining characteristic of universities and is fundamental to Valley City State University’s (VCSU) mission. VCSU is committed to ensuring equal access to digital information and services for all its constituencies. This policy establishes minimum standards for the accessibility of digital information and services considered necessary to meet this goal. It also ensures compliance with relevant federal regulations, notably with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508, which requires our digital information and services be accessible to persons with disabilities (http://www.section508.gov
This policy applies to all VCSU academic and administrative digital information an services.
This policy is established to support the university community in promoting equal access opportunity to digital information and services by the application of accessibility standards, guidelines, training, tools and methods consistent with higher education. The goal of this policy is to meet the guidelines of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508. The policy sets forth minimum required accessibility standards necessary to achieve the accessibility of digital information and services for use by persons with disabilities.
To ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, notably with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508, VCSU has adopted the following minimum standards for the accessibility of digital information and services:
- Digital materials must be in compliance with these standards unless compliance would create an undue burden for the institution.
- Upon specific request, information must be made available in an accessible format to any individual needing access.
- The VCSU entity who originally distributed the material has the responsibility for making the material available to individuals in an alternative format. If they are unable to provide that access, they must contact the VCSU entity designated in the Compliance Section below who will work toward an effective solution.
- To ensure the procurement of Section 508 compliant products and services, the authorized purchaser shall ask the vendor whether the product or solution is Section 508 compliant. If so, the vendor must provide Section 508 compliance audit or test results that document the testing methodology utilized to determine the product or solutions compliance and the results of the accessibility audit.
- University digital material must contain an accessible link or individual to contact when users have trouble accessing content.
- VCSU entities shall have access to tools, training, and support for creation and evaluation of accessible digital content as provided by Technology Services or departments that need them.
Information about VCSU’s policy and resources concerning online accessibility may be found at http://www.vcsu.edu/accessibility
An entity designated by VCSU shall ensure compliance by personnel responsible for digital information and services as defined in this policy. This entity may grant exceptions to this policy where compliance is not possible or creates an undue burden. When such an exception is granted, the exception and supporting reasons must be documented. VCSU has a four-year plan to implement this policy and are taking all reasonable efforts to be compliant by June 2017.
Effective Date and Approval
This policy is effective July 1, 2014. It shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.
Sponsor: Online Standards Committee & Online Accessibility Group
Effective: July 2014