Policies & Goals:
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Program is an outcome of the University of Oregon's ICT Accessibility Policy. It is the set of resources, services, and processes that aligns the University's digital presence with the University's legal obligation to provide equal services to people with disabilities, and with the University's mission to provide an inclusive environment that is equally accessible to all.
It takes a multi-faceted approach towards making the UO online presence more accessible, including reviewing and supporting accessible remediation of existing resources, providing the resources, training, and advocacy for our peers to make their own digital services accessible, and supporting policies and processes that make our resources more accessible at a University-wide level.
The goals of the ICT Accessibility Program include:
- Bring all public-facing, University-managed, actively maintained websites into full compliance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 at the ‘AA’ level.
- Minimize the number and impact of future accessibility errors through comprehensive, audience-specific and actively maintained training courses.
- Support the implementation and integration of tools and testing processes to verify new web development changes meet accessibility requirements before they reach the UO community.
- Support an accessible procurement process, to ensure any third party services utilized by the University are accessible.
- Partner with other institutions of higher education to develop resources and guidelines that can be used in academia and beyond, making the University of Oregon a leader in accessible higher education.
The primary focus of the ICT Accessibility Program is on the University’s web presence and web applications, but also encompasses a breadth of other systems including telephony, on-campus digital displays, and other technical systems used by students and the UO community.
Responsibilities of the program include:
- Conduct reviews and oversee reviewing of digital assets.
- Plan, prioritize, manage, verify and approve remediation efforts with stakeholders across all departments of the University.
- Prepare, update, and deliver training programs to technical and non-technical audiences, to best situate the University for continued accessibility as digital assets evolve.
- Lead a cross-departmental ICT Access Committee, serving as subject matter experts on University accessibility concerns, reviewing and refining ICT accessibility procedures and proposed technology systems, and achieving campus-wise input and consensus on accessibility issues.
The Information and Communication Technologies program routinely performs tests and audits of University-Owned websites to make suretheyare in compliance with WCAG 2.0 standards. Sites are tested using a combination of automated testing tools, accessibility programs, and manual review of web content and page structure. Pages are thoroughly reviewed to make sure they are accessible to users with a wide variety of disabilities, including vision, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairments.
You probably do not need to start from scratch – especially if your department’s website is using a standard theme provided by the University, it has a great deal of accessibility functionality already built in.
If any accessibility issues are found, they will be recorded in a report, alongside explanations of the error and recommendations for how to resolve them. Depending on the error itself, fixing the error may fall under the purview of the website owner, or it may be the responsibility of University Communications. Generally, if the error is part of a standard theme provided by the University, it will be addressed by central Communications. If the error is content-related (e.g. images of text, missing captions on videos) or if it is due to custom development by the website’s development team, it will fall under the purview of that department.
The ICT Accessibility Program is available to advise on and clarify any items in an audit report, including identifying advantages and disadvantages of different remediation approaches, and providing recommendations on how to prevent additional instances of any found errors.
Ad-Hoc Consultation / Advising
ICT Accessibility is available to consult on any accessibility questions from content teams and developers. If you have questions regarding the accessibility of proposed, in-progress, or currently available functionality on your website or other technology, we are glad to hear from you.
Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. We encourage all members of the UO community, especially those who create and maintain websites, to stay up-to-date with the latest accessibility techniques. The ICT Accessibility Program provides a list of resources for the most common accessibility use cases you may encounter.
On-demand training is under active development, and in-person or online instructor-led training may be conducted in the future based on demand.