An overview of the key topics faced by disability services providers with citations to noteworthy cases, statutes, regulations, and additional sources.OverviewAll pages of an institution's website must be accessibility to individuals with disabilities. Review recent Office for Civil Rights findings on web accessibility.Key Rulings❏ A complainant claimed to OCR he was unable to register through Mt. Hood Community College's website for a summer 2014 online class because the website was inaccessible to him as a screen‐reader user and didn't offer any alternative way to register for the class. The college signed a resolution agreeing to take steps to resolve the complaint, including ensuring that all online programs, services, and activities are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Letter to: Mt. Hood Community College, No. 10142224 (OCR 09/11/14).❏ OCR performed a compliance review of accessibility of the University of Cincinnati's websites, focusing on the needs of individuals with sensory impairments who may require assistive technology to access the sites. OCR's review identified several compliance issues, including a lack of a formal process to ensure compliance with policies; an absence of policies or procedures concerning the purchase of technology and/or its compatibility with assistive technology; and multiple technical deficiencies in website accessibility, including images lacking alternative text equivalents. Letter to: University of Cincinnati, No. 15‐13‐6001 (OCR 12/18/14).❏ A complainant alleged that Bay Mills Community College discriminated by failing to make all its webpages accessible to individuals with certain kinds of disabilities, including visual, print, physical, and hearing impairments. The agency used an accessibility tool as well to conduct a preliminary review of some of the pages listed in the complaint. Its review raised some red flags, including a lack of skip navigation, keyboard controls that did not allow equivalent ease of use, and lack of meaningful alternate text. Before OCR could complete its investigation and issue a finding, the institution entered into a resolution agreement to resolve the issues identified. Letter to: Bay Mills Community College, No. 15‐16‐2187 (OCR 10/14/16).❏ A complainant claimed that Michigan Virtual University discriminated because some of its webpages were not accessible to individuals with disabilities like visual impairments. OCR conducted a preliminary accessibility review of those pages, resulting in various accessibility alerts, which pointed to issues with the skip navigation, keyboard controls, nontrivial graphics' alternate text, link labeling, and visual contrast. Even though OCR's preliminary investigation, while pointing to areas of concern, did not determine that sufficient evidence existed that a violation of Title II had occurred, the institution offered to resolve the complaint voluntarily. The agreement's provisions included that it would ensure that the institution's online content is fully accessible by established accessibility standards and that the institution would designate at least one individual as a web accessibility coordinator and provide that person with the resources and authority needed to implement the accessibility policy. Letter to: Michigan Virtual University, No. 15‐16‐2146 (OCR 10/13/16).What You Should KnowWeb‐based campus services such as registration must be accessible to students with disabilities.An institution's website must be accessible to individuals with sensory impairments who require assistive technology to access web content.Websites should include features such as skip navigation, keyboard controls that allow equivalent ease of use, and meaningful alternate text.Institutions must establish policies and procedures for ensuring web accessibility.
Disability Compliance for Higher Education – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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