Date Established: 5/10/2018
Date Last Updated: 7/26/2022
Administration and Governance
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The University at Buffalo is committed to providing equal access to its services, programs and activities to everyone, including people with physical, sensory or cognitive impairments, with or without the use of assistive technology. The university requires electronic and information technology accessibility to meet this commitment.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) is committed to ensuring equal access to information that is presented electronically. As part of this commitment, digital content must be accessible to everyone, including individuals with physical, sensory or cognitive impairments, with or without the use of assistive technology.
The university must designate an individual to serve as Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Officer. The EIT Accessibility Officer coordinates the university’s efforts to ensure accessible EIT and to remediate inaccessible digital content. Individual schools and administrative areas must designate one or more individuals to serve as Web Accessibility Liaisons to coordinate EIT accessibility efforts in their respective areas.
All EIT must conform to the requirements of the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy Guidance, except where doing so would impose a fundamental alteration or undue burden as established through the Exceptions section of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, EIT that is created by UB or procured through vendors. It also includes external websites, services, and digital content required to access UB programs and activities. Accessibility standards include the following:
Archived electronic and digital content is not required to meet accessibility standards, but the university will provide an accessible version of archived web content or an equally effective, alternative means of accessing the content upon request. Individuals who wish to access inaccessible archived web content must contact Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). An EDI representative will process the request to access archived materials within five business days. EDI will either provide an accessible version of the archived materials or reasonable accommodations that will afford equally effective, alternative access to its content.
EDI serves as the President’s designee for considering exceptions to this policy. Limited exceptions may be granted by EDI in specific instances where compliance is not possible or would constitute an undue administrative or financial burden, or where it would create a fundamental alteration. Departments requesting an exception must provide equally effective, alternative access to ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the same benefits or services as their nondisabled peers. Exception requests must be accompanied by a written statement describing how the department will provide equally effective, alternative access.
Any hardware, software, programs, or other EIT procured from vendors must be accessible when the information technology will be used by members of the university community to access university programs, services, or activities.
The university will review purchases and renewals of EIT in accordance with the Procuring Technology Requirements.
Individuals who believe that there is a violation of this policy should contact EDI, which will investigate the complaint. An individual who files a complaint will be protected against retaliation.
This policy is in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations, and policies requiring accessibility and equal access for individuals with disabilities. These laws and policies include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York State Human Rights Law.
This policy does not apply to individual web pages published by students, employees, or non-university organizations that are not hosted by the university and do not conduct university-related business. Individuals and organizations responsible for these web pages are encouraged to adopt the university’s accessibility standards.
Able to be used by all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, with or without assistive technology.
Archived Web Content
Web content that: (1) is at a minimum five years old; (2) is maintained exclusively for reference, research, or recordkeeping; (3) is not altered or updated after the date of archiving; and (4) is organized and stored in a dedicated area or areas clearly identified as being archived.
Any software or hardware that allows access to information or content for individuals with disabilities. Examples include special input devices (e.g., head or foot mouse, speech recognition), screen-reading software, and screen magnifiers.
Electronic and Information Technology (EIT)
Information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. EIT includes, but is not limited to, information resources such as internet and intranet websites, content delivered in digital form, search engines and databases, learning management systems, classroom technologies; web, computer and mobile-based applications allowing for interaction between software and users; and services employing information technology and telecommunications equipment.
Equally Effective Alternative Access
An alternative format or medium that communicates the same information in as timely and effective a fashion as does the original format or medium. For interactive or service pages, equally effective means the end result is accomplished in a comparable time and with comparable effort on the part of the requestor. To provide equally effective alternative access, alternatives are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for persons with and without disabilities, but must afford persons with disabilities equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person’s needs.
A change so significant that it affects the essential nature of the instruction, program, or activity provided.
Undue Administrative or Financial Burden
A significant disruption, expense, or difficulty posed by the provision of accessible information technology. When a department is concerned that the provision of accessible information technology will pose undue financial or administrative burdens, it must proceed according to the Exception procedure in this policy.
Web Accessibility Liaison
University personnel who have received training in web accessibility and serve as unit-level contacts to coordinate accessibility efforts in their respective areas.
Web and Digital Content
The textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites, applications, software, email, social media, etc. It may include, among other things, text, images, sounds, videos, and animations. For purposes of this policy, web content also includes forms and documents accessible through UB websites.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
A series of standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that promotes usability and best practices to ensure web access for individuals with disabilities. WCAG provides a common definition for accessible content.
|July 2022||Full review. Updated the policy to: |
• Change the title of the policy from Web Accessibility Policy to Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy
• Add the Designation of Personnel section
• Remove references to a specific accessibility standard (i.e., WCAG 2.0) and replace it with references to the Accessibility Standards set forth in the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy Guidance document
• Remove references to specifics about the procurement process for EIT and replace it with references to the Procuring Technology Requirements set forth in the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy Guidance document
• Add a definition for Electronic and Information Technology and Web Accessibility Liaison
• Remove the definition for Alternative Text, Screen Reader, Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), and Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Application Suite Guidelines (WAI-ARIA)
• Add a responsibility for the President, Provost, vice presidents, deans, directors, and department heads to designate one or more Web Accessibility Liaisons
• Add responsibilities for Web Accessibility Liaisons and the EIT Accessibility Officer
• Change the title of the policy guidance document from Web Accessibility Policy Guidance: Creating Accessible Content to Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy Guidance; updated this Guidance