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ASU Accessibility Guidelines

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The international industry standard for web accessibility is the current version of the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). All online content at ASU should comply with WCAG 2.1 conformance level AA, given the timelines and exemptions in these guidelines.

Responsibility for Web Accessibility

All employees are equally responsible for the accessibility of university websites and applications. Faculty and staff who create, purchase, or maintain websites and applications for university programs, services, and activities in the scope of their employment are responsible for making them accessible in accordance with WCAG. Any fines that are received due to lack of compliance will be the responsibility of the department.

Remediation Priorities

As of July 31, 2020, all new and redesigned websites and web-based applications should comply with WCAG 2.1, Level AA. Other existing sites and applications will be remediated as time and resources allow, with high-risk sites and applications being given higher priority. High-risk pages and applications are identified as pages or applications:

  • One of the 5000 pages most frequently visited per Google Analytics
  • Involved in providing core university services online
  • Intended for people with disabilities
  • Reported by users as having accessibility issues

Exemptions

Site owners or departments may file an exemption from the standards with their dean or department head. Exemptions include:

  • Legacy websites and applications, defined as sites that are accessed less than 100 times per year
  • Websites and web-based applications that will be used by less than five people
  • Where compliance is not technically possible or would require extraordinary measures
  • Where compliance would result in a fundamental alteration of the website or application and not satisfy the original intent
  • Third-party websites and applications for which no alternative accessible products are available
  • Archived information resources

Complaints

All ASU webpages and applications should carry a “Report an Accessibility Problem” link in the header, directly after the “Skip to Main Content” link. The link should be visible to assistive technology and have a destination of https://www.asu.edu/accessibility.

Complaints about ASU webpages and applications will be forwarded to the department or unit's Senior Technical Advisory Group (Senior TAG) representative, who will coordinate with site/application owners and developers and will track resolution progress. See the complete list of Senior TAG representatives.

Procuring IT Products

Faculty and staff responsible for procuring information technology (IT) products should consider accessibility as one of the criteria for acquisition. Often, acquiring a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the supplier will satisfy that requirement. To assist with accessible university purchases, ASU provides instructions on obtaining and verifying VPATs.

In addition, ASU's standard contract terms and conditions contain the following:

§21. Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. To the extent applicable, Supplier will comply with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all applicable federal regulations, as amended from time to time (ADA Laws). All electronic and information technology and products and services to be used by ASU faculty/staff, students, program participants, or other ASU constituencies must be compliant with ADA Laws. Compliance means that a disabled person can acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a nondisabled person, in an equally effective and integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

If the vendor objects to §21 in the standard ASU contract, or if the vendor is unable or unwilling to supply a VPAT or comparable accessibility statement, look for another product that is accessible and meets your needs. If that is not possible, contact your dean or department head or your Senior TAG to alert them to the situation and to the potential need (a) to work with the supplier to remediate accessibility issues and (b) to find an accessible, equivalent alternative. It is the department's responsibility to ensure that vendors follow through on commitments involving accessibility and to supply alternative accommodations when necessary.

Employee Training and Support

To assist faculty and staff in meeting the responsibilities described in these guidelines, ASU provides accessibility information and best practices on the ASU Web Accessibility website. In addition, the following self-enrolled online training courses are available:

  • For faculty and staff who publish instructional material to ASU Canvas: take the 1-hour Faculty Canvas Accessibility Course
  • For faculty and staff who publish content to an ASU website or application: take the 1-hour Introduction to Accessibility course.
  • For staff who develop websites or applications: take the 6-hour Advanced Accessibility course (to come in November 2019).

For further support, contact the UTO Web Accessibility team or stop by the free Access Clinic held every Wednesday from 1-5pm in CPCOM 308.