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Accessible Technology and Electronic Content

Section: III.  ADSV - 503
Approved By: Bill Ryberg, 11/9/17
Last Review:
Last Revision: 
Prior Revisions: 
Initial Adoption: 11/8/17

Additional information about website accessibility.

Purpose

Tacoma Community College seeks to deploy information technology and electronic content that has been designed, developed, or procured to be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies. An accessible IT environment generally enhances usability for everyone. By supporting IT accessibility, the college helps ensure that as broad a population as possible is able to access, benefit from, and contribute to its electronic programs and services.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

All individuals or groups of individuals managing programs and services where information technology is deployed and/or electronic content published at Tacoma Community College.

References

3.20.30b SBCTC Accessible Technology
Americans with Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act as it applies to electronic information
IT Accessibility Checklist - http://www.washington.edu/accessibility/checklist/
OCIO Policy 188 - Accessibility
RCW 28B.10.912
RCW 49.60
Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
Sections 504 and 508 as they apply to electronic information
WCAG 2 at a glance - https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/glance/
Web Accessibility Information and Training - http://WebAIM.org/articles
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Definitions

Accessible: Refers to the objective that everyone, including those with disabilities, within Tacoma Community College will have equally effective and equally integrated access to programs and services, including instructional materials and content.

Accessible tnformation Technology: lnformation technology that has been designed, developed, or procured to be usable by, and therefore accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies.

Assistive Technologies: Adaptive, rehabilitative devices that promote greater independence for individuals with disabilities by changing how these individuals interact with technology. Examples include special input devices (e.g., head or foot mouse, puff-and-sip switches, speech recognition), screen-reading software, and screen magnifiers.

lnstructional Materials and Content: Resources and tools used in educational lessons, including, but not limited to, textbooks, content in learning management systems, computer software, DVDs, CD-ROMs, online publisher materials, handouts, worksheets, slide presentations, assessments, videos, PDFs, Word documents, linked web pages or any other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means, whether fully copyrighted or an open resource.

Usability: Refers to how easily, effectively, and efficiently users can use a product or system to achieve their goals, and how satisfied they are with the experience.

Policy

Tacoma Community College seeks to provide appropriate, effective, and integrated access to technology and electronic content for students, employees, and external community members. This policy applies to the procurement, development and implementation of instructional, administrative or communications technologies and content. Further, the policy applies to both current and emerging technologies, including both hardware and software, in use or being evaluated for purchase or adoption at TCC. This policy encompasses, but is not limited to, college websites, learning management tools, student information systems, training materials, instructional materials and assessment tools.

Procedure

  1. Under this policy, all College managers of programs and services must:
    1. Develop, purchase and/or acquire, to the extent feasible as described in section 4. Exceptions, hardware and software products that are accessible to people with disabilities.
    2. Promote awareness of this policy to all members of the College community, particularly those in roles that are responsible for creating, selecting, or maintaining electronic content and applications.
  2. lnstructional Materials and Content
    1. When developing new electronic content, the college encourages new content to be accessible, working with Access Services, eLearning, and IT as necessary.
    2. When implementing new electronic resources, such as (but not limited to) textbook publisher services and resources, the college will ensure such services and resources are accessible to the extent feasible as described in section 4. Exceptions.
    3. The college encourages work with Access Services, eLearning, and IT as necessary to retroactively update currently used digital content and resources, such as (but not limited to) documents, videos, and images in the learning management system.
  3. Accessible Technology and Electronic Content Standards
    Compliance to standards listed in this section must be considered high priority:
    1. Web Standard
      Electronic information must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at an AA Success Criteria or latest standards as appropriate.
    2. New Development and Purchases
      New development and purchases, including development purchases for major revisions and updates of existing electronic information resources, must receive higher priority over the retrofit of existing electronic information resources.
  4. Exceptions
    Conformance to standards may not always be feasible due to the nature of the content; the purpose of the resource; the lack of accessible solutions, which includes instances when proprietary instructional materials or industry-standard professional technical applications and/or equipment do not include accessible options; an unreasonably high administrative or financial cost necessary to make the resource accessible; an accessible solution fundamentally aIters the nature of programs, courses, services or activities; or poses a direct threat to heaIth or safety. However, the above exceptions do not relieve college programs or services from their legal obligations pertaining to accessibility; college managers of programs and services must be prepared to provide content and/or services in a suitable aIternative format (e.g. electronic text file) upon request.
  5. Help
    1. Access Services, lnformation Technology, and eLearning are available resources to assist in any related processes.
    2. Upon approval of this policy the college may form a committee to oversee Accessible Technology and Electronic Content program development and implementation of initiatives which focus on:
      1. Effective application of this policy and assistance to impacted individuals and groups, to include guidance and instruction for facuIty on making
        classes accessible;
      2. Creating a phased approach to implementing accessible electronic content;
      3. Developing time studies and baseline effort estimates necessary for eLearning to make courses accessible.