04.001: Information Technology Accessibility




August 17, 2017

Initiated by:

Craig Bantz | Associate Vice President for the Office of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Dianne Bouvier | Director for Equal Opportunity and Accessibility, ADA/504 Coordinator, Office of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance

Endorsed by:

David Descutner | Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

M. Duane Nellis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Purpose

    The use of information technology (IT) is integral to the university’s operations for all members of the community. Therefore, in accordance with federal and state law, this policy establishes standards and expectations to facilitate the deployment of information technology that has been designed, developed, or purchased to be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies. Accessibility generally enhances usability for all users. Thus, by supporting IT accessibility, Ohio university helps ensure that as broad a population as possible will have access to, benefit from, and contribute to its digital information and services.

    It is the responsibility of all members of the university community — faculty, staff, and students — to provide equal access to our employment and educational environment, including information technology. This policy is in accordance with the Ohio University Americans with Disabilities Act compliance policy 03.003 and section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.

  2. Policy statement

    Software, hardware and systems purchased must be accessible and must produce accessible products. Ohio university will collaborate with departments in working towards equal access to information technology in a systematic manner. Acquiring and purchasing technologies that meet the requirements described in this document and other applicable policies will enable all colleges, departments, offices and entities of the university to:

    1. Design and publish university web page content and web-based applications in accordance with the current university web accessibility guidelines.

    2. Design and host technology that supports accessible course content in accordance with the current university web accessibility guidelines.

    3. Use software and hardware solutions that promote access by all users, including those with disabilities.

  3. Applicability

    This policy applies to all information technology that is acquired, distributed, purchased, developed, implemented or substantially modified after the effective date of this policy, by or for any Ohio university administrative or academic unit and used to provide university programs, services, or activities including:

    1. Information technology services, those associated with courses of instruction, departmental programs, university-sponsored activities, employment, administration and university services, including hardware and software to be developed, purchased or acquired by Ohio university.

    2. University environments specific to information technology including classroom and general use computer facilities, on-line instruction, distance learning, places of employment, and libraries.

  4. Exceptions

    Recognizing that it may not always be possible to achieve accessibility due to various factors, including but not limited to the scope of usage and availability of alternate accessible information technology, requests for exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requests for exception shall be submitted in writing to the ADA/504 coordinator, office of university equity and civil rights compliance. Details on what to include are described in the process to request an exception.

  5. Compliance resources

    Questions or concerns regarding compliance with this policy should be directed to the ADA/504 coordinator, office of university equity and civil rights compliance (ECRC).

    The office of information technology (OIT) has the subject matter expertise to respond to questions about technical information technology requirements. ECRC will work with OIT to provide assistance to units in their efforts to comply with the requirements of this policy.

    Resources are available to departments to implement this policy.

  6. Definitions

    Accessible information technology: Information technology that is accessible with or without the use of any assistive technology device or software that interfaces with university-provided software and infrastructure, or assistive technology service that makes educational and workplace materials available to persons with disabilities.

    Information technology: Any equipment, interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, or service that is used in the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. The term information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Office of Information Technology

  2. Office of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance

  3. Office of Student Accessibility Services

  4. Executive Vice President and Provost

  5. Vice Provosts and Vice Presidents

  6. Deans/Chairs/Directors

  7. Purchasing Department

  8. Faculty Senate

  9. Administrative Senate

  10. Undergraduate Student Senate

  11. Graduate Student Senate