Online Accessibility Policy*

Preamble

The following policy is an attempt to clearly articulate Glen Oaks Community College’s commitment to online accessibility. We very much consider this policy to be a starting, not an ending point, in our efforts to serve our students, employees and community. As we take the steps necessary to implement this policy, we fully intend to learn and grow, and we anticipate that there will be further refinements to this policy, including but not limited to, further development of the technical guidelines that inform policy decisions.

Article One – Purpose

Glen Oaks Community College is committed to facilitating access to college instruction, communication, research, and business processes, while enhancing community building for the broadest possible audience. Glen Oaks strives to employ principles of Universal Design1 and use WebAim Section 508 Guidelines in the design, implementation, enhancement, and replacement of Web content and services. In doing so, Glen Oaks Community College aims to improve access to both current and emerging technologies.

Article Two – Scope

This policy applies to all College Web pages2 used to conduct core college business or academic activities3. This policy does not apply to Web pages published by students, employees, or non-college organizations that are hosted by the College but are not used to conduct core College business or academic activities.

Article Three – Policy

All new and redesigned College Web pages published after August 22, 2014 must be in compliance with the WebAim Section 508 Guidelines unless granted an exception under Article Four of this policy. College Web pages published before August 22, 2014 must assess compliance with WebAim Section 508 Guidelines and submit a review summary and remediation plan to address any areas of non-compliance with the Associate Dean of Extended Learning and Workforce Development by August 22, 2014. Voluntary compliance with WebAim Section 508 Guidelines is encouraged for all Web pages not covered by this policy.

Article Four – Exceptions

Individuals or departments seeking an exception to this policy must submit a written request to the Associate Dean of Extended Learning and Workforce Development, detailing why compliance is not feasible and how the individual or department will make information from its Web pages available to individuals with a disability in an equally effective manner.

Article Five – Complaints

Complaints regarding accessibility of College Web pages should be directed to the Associate Dean of Extended Learning and Workforce Development who is responsible for investigating complaints of non-compliance.

Article Six – Violations

College Web pages in violation of this policy will be referred to the Associate Dean of Extended Learning and Workforce Development for remediation. Remediation efforts may include removal of the site from the Internet until the Web page is in compliance with this policy.

Article Seven – Authority

The Associate Dean of Extended Learning and Workforce Development will work closely with the ADA Coordinator, the DSS Counselor, the Director of Distance Learning, the Director of Tutoring and Testing, and the Glen Oaks Community College IT department in evaluating requests for exceptions to this policy, investigating complaints related to the practice of this policy, and addressing individuals or departments who are in violation of this policy. However, final authority for the implementation of this policy, as well as for evaluation requests for exceptions to this policy, investigating complaints related to the practice of this policy, and addressing individuals or departments who are in violation of this policy, shall remain with the Associate Dean of Extended learning and Workforce Development.
 

*Special thanks to Michigan State University who allowed us to use their Web Accessibility Policy as a model in the development of our own policy. Much of the wording in the Glen Oaks Community College Online Accessibility Policy is taken directly from the Michigan State University Web Accessibility Policy, and is used with permission.

 



1Universal Design” refers to the design of products in such a way that they are useable by all regardless of ability. Universal Design supports the use of emerging technologies, use in different environments, use by people with different learning styles or literacy levels, and multi-lingual usage.

2Reference to “Web pages” in this policy covers both Web pages and Web sites, including their design and any Web-delivered content or service.

3Web pages that conduct core college business and academic activities include those Web pages that students, employees, or visitors must access in order to effectively participate in a program, service, or activity offered by the college. Examples of core academic activities include admissions, registration, advising, and academic course work. Examples of core business activities include business services or personnel activities of Human Resources, Controllers Office, or other College services frequently used by employees or visitors.