2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 
    Feb 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Administrative Policy Manual Published September 2, 2022 [ARCHIVED COPY]

Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility

Policy Number: 11.60
Effective Date: February 16, 2023
Revision History: May 26, 2016
Policy Contact: Vice President for Information Technology

I. Purpose and Policy Statement

This policy establishes minimum standards for the accessibility for digital content and information technology resources in order to both meet the College’s goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensure compliance with applicable civil rights regulations.  The College follows all applicable laws as well as University System of Georgia (“USG”) policies and standards for accessible digital content and information technology resources.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all employees. This policy includes all information technology resources and public-facing digital content. Digital content secured with a login is subject to this policy as determined by Disability Services, Human Resources, and/or Legal Affairs.

III. Definitions

Information Technology Resource: Any hardware, software, service, system, or database used in support of College activities. This includes systems and applications hosted on premise or in the cloud as well as applications created by the College.
Digital Content: Refers to any electronic-HTML or non-HTML-resources that are used in the creation, conversion, maintenance, or duplication of data or information. Digital content may include, but is not limited to: applications, courseware, electronic documents, media, social media, software, and websites.
Public-facing: Refers to any College-sponsored or -sanctioned, externally facing digital content that can be accessed without login.
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (“VPAT”): A template that explains how information and communication technology (“ICT”) products such as software, hardware, digital content, electronic documents, and support documentation meet the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility. 
508 Standards: These standards require all federal agencies, including those who receive federal funding, to make their electronic and information technology (“EIT”) accessible to people with disabilities. 
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”): A set of guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium intended to make web content more accessible.  Web content includes text, images, and sounds as well as the code or markup that defines structure or presentation. 
Web Accessibility Initiative- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (“WAI-ARIA”): Defines a way to make web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.

IV. Standards
  1. The recommended version that should be used for assessing the accessibility of web and digital content is WCAG 2.1 Level AA.
  2. Digital content and information technology resources are reviewed for compliance with 508 Standards for electronic and information technologies.
  3. Digital content strives to meet WAI-ARIA recommendations.
V. Roles and Responsibilities
  1. Provide Training to Campus Community: Information Technology, Disability Services, Human Resources, Digital Communications, and Legal Affairs provide training on accessibility standards and compliance to employees.
  2. Ensure Accessibility of Public-facing Digital Content: The responsibility for public-facing digital resources created by employees resides within the employee’s department. The department is responsible for ensuring that the public-facing digital resources are in compliance with College and USG standards.
  3. Procurement of Information Technology Resources: Information Technology follows USG and College procurement policies and as such requests that all vendors provide a completed VPAT to the Vice President for Information Technology or designee as part of established procurement policies and processes.
VI. Compliance

All community members are responsible for complying with policies, standards, and procedures.

VII. Related Regulations, Statues, Policies, and Procedures

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973[LV1] [TB2] 
Section 255 of the Communications Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
USG Information Technology Handbook [LV3] [TB4] 
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) 
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Web Accessibility Initiative- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)