Information and Communication Technology Accessibility
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – ICT means any electronic resources used for instruction, information distribution, or communication. ICT resources include, but are not limited to, instructional systems, online instructional lessons, Web-based services, software applications, electronic documents, computers, hardware systems, telecommunication products, video and multimedia products, mobile devices, information kiosks, transaction machines, and online events.
ICT Accessibility Standards – The University will meet the standards and guidelines outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA for all Web-based ICT. Further, the University will follow the Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT).
University Business – University business refers to business and academic activities, the delivery of content, or the interaction with individuals for administrative, instructional, or informational purposes.
Public ICT – ICT that is available to the general public.
Nonpublic ICT – ICT that is not available to the general public.
Legacy ICT – ICT that was created, purchased, or developed prior to the effective date of this policy and is not currently used to conduct University business, but may still be available for historical purposes.
Equally Effective Alternate Format – An equally effective alternate format providing access to ICT for persons with disabilities is based on timeliness of delivery, accuracy of translation, and delivery in a manner and medium appropriate to the disability of the person. Equally effective alternate formats are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for disabled and non-disabled persons, but must afford disabled persons 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.
Undue Burden – Undue financial and administrative burdens may be created when a proposed course of action causes significant difficulty or expense. Because an institution must consider all resources available when reviewing claims of undue financial and administrative burdens, the decision to invoke undue financial and administrative burdens will be carefully weighed and sufficiently documented.
Fundamental Alteration – A fundamental alteration is a change to a service, program, or activity that fundamentally alters the nature of the service, program, or activity, which includes academic courses or technology.
This policy applies to all ICT used to conduct University business or used for historical purposes.
The ICT Accessibility Standards establish the minimum requirements for the accessibility of ICT necessary to meet the University’s goals and ensure compliance with applicable law.
The ICT Accessibility Review Board will review the standards annually to ensure compliance with applicable law.
Public ICT must comply with the standards described in this policy within 18 months of the effective date of this policy.
Nonpublic ICT must comply with the standards described in this policy within 36 months of the effective date of this policy.
Prior to compliance, Public and Nonpublic ICT must be made available in an equally effective alternate format, in a timely manner, to any individual requesting access.
Legacy ICT must be updated to be in compliance with the standards described in this policy, or must otherwise be made available in an equally effective alternate format, in a timely manner, to any individual requesting access.
Training and Resources
To facilitate faculty and staff meeting the responsibilities described in this policy, the University will make training and resources readily available to faculty and staff, including a campus website devoted to providing information regarding accessible ICT. The training and resources will include the following:
- Specific information for faculty and staff who are responsible for creating, selecting, or maintaining ICT in any university program, service, or activity
- How to make ICT accessible
- How to both manually check and use automated tools to ensure the accessibility of content
- How to get assistance
ICT Accessibility Coordinator
The University will appoint and maintain an ICT Accessibility Coordinator, reporting to the Chief Information Officer, who is responsible for:
- Oversight, coordinating campus efforts to provide accessible ICT
- Prioritization, taking into account local needs and available resources, including access to accessibility support
- Outreach, promoting awareness of the need for accessible ICT and effecting systemic change
- Policy, establishing policies and standards related to the university’s providing accessible ICT
- Procedures, including an audit process and a procedure for resolving accessibility issues
- Research, keeping abreast of emerging assistive, information, and instructional technologies and solutions
ICT Accessibility Review Board
The University will establish and maintain an ICT Accessibility Review Board, chaired by the ICT Accessibility Coordinator. The Chief Information Officer, in consultation with the Chief Diversity Officer, will appoint board members. The review board will meet at a minimum of twice a year and is responsible for the following:
- Periodically reviewing and updating this policy and the ICT Accessibility Standards
- Determining the content and frequency of trainings
- Reviewing exceptions to this policy
Resolving ICT Accessibility Issues
Users who encounter an ICT accessibility problem should contact the ICT Accessibility Coordinator. The ICT Accessibility Coordinator will work with relevant University units to provide reasonable solutions.
University units are responsible for any ICT purchased, created, or modified within their departments. The Chief Information Officer; in consultation with the ICT Accessibility Coordinator, Chief Diversity Officer, and the Director of University Compliance; may direct that non-compliant ICT be:
- removed until it complies with this policy, or
- brought into compliance by designated staff or contractors and the expense of that work may be charged to the unit that is responsible for assuring its accessibility.
The following circumstances may qualify as exceptions to this policy:
- Where compliance is not technically possible or may cause an undue burden to the University due to the nature or intent of the information resource, application or service. Lack of funding for any particular college, department, program, or unit of the University, in and of itself, is not sufficient to support an exemption.
- Where compliance would result in a fundamental alteration of the resource, application, service, course, or program and not satisfy the original intent.
- Where ICT is procured through third party vendors or contractors and no alternative accessible products are available.
- Where ICT is not currently in compliance, but proven efforts are underway to fix the defects by a defined date.
Units seeking an exception to this policy must submit a written request to the ICT Accessibility Coordinator, detailing why compliance is not feasible and how the unit will make ICT available to individuals with a disability in an equally effective alternate format. Exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Clemson University is committed to ensuring equal access to its educational services, programs, and activities in accordance with federal and state laws. Providing accessible information and communication technology (ICT) resources is the responsibility of all University administrators, faculty, and staff. This policy establishes ICT accessibility standards considered necessary to meet this goal.
Responsible Department/Division (Contact Person)
Chief Information Officer, CCIT