IT 1 Information and Communication Technology Accessibility - Nevada State College
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IT 1 Information and Communication Technology Accessibility

  • policy name:
    Information & Communication Technology Accessibility Policy
  • owner:
    Office of Marketing and Events
  • Contact:
    LaNelda Rolley
  • category:
    Administration
    All Policies
    Disability Services
    Information & Technology Services
  • Policy Id#:
    IT 1
  • Effective Date:
    5/09/2019

POLICY STATEMENT

In its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Nevada State College seeks to ensure that individuals with disabilities are afforded equal access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) used by the College.

NSC seeks Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that is universal in design and Accessible to all individuals. In the event this is Technically Infeasible or imposes an Undue Burden, the College ensures Equally Effective Alternate Access. All ICT acquired, adopted, developed, or updated after the effective date of this policy must meet applicable Accessibility standards.

DEFINITIONS

Accessible: Individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same benefits and services within the same timeframe as their nondisabled peers, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

Archive Content: Content that is no longer in use but subject to records retention schedules.

Equally Effective Alternate Access: An alternative format, medium, or other aid that accurately and in a timely manner communicates the same content as the original format or medium, and which is appropriate to an individual’s disability.

Fundamental Alteration: A change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature of the goods, services (including academic courses), technology, facilities, privileges, or accommodations offered.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Includes, but is not limited to, computer hardware and software, operating systems, computer or web-based information and applications, cellular and mobile apps, enterprise applications, learning management systems, telecommunication products, information kiosks and transaction machines, instructional materials, websites (including web pages, web applications, and web content), multimedia, and office equipment.

ICT Accessibility Committee: A standing committee consisting of one representative each from the Disabilities Resource Center (DRC), the Office of Marketing and Events, and the Office of Information and Technology Services (ITS).

Legacy Content: Content created before January 1, 2016.

Significantly Updated: A modification to the majority of content or a change that substantially alters usability or design.

Technically Infeasible: A situation in which there is little likelihood of accessibility because there is no existing software and/or hardware solution to provide the same level of access to all persons.

Undue Burden: A proposed course of action would result in significant difficulty, hardship, or financial or administrative burden.

PROCEDURES

This policy applies to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that is developed, procured, updated, or used by Nevada State College (NSC) after this policy is adopted. The policy also provides guidance for remediation of pre-existing content.

If an ICT cannot be made Accessible due to Technical Infeasibility or an Undue Burden, Equally Effective Alternate Access must be provided in a timely manner. Alternatives are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for individuals with and without disabilities, but must provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services necessary to afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement, in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

NSC is not required to take action that results in a Fundamental Alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in an Undue Burden, but must nevertheless ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that qualified students with disabilities receive the benefits and services provided by NSC.

I. Defining Accessibility

Unless listed in Section VI (Exceptions), all software applications and web-based information or applications shall be qualify as Accessible if they comply at a minimum with the World Wide Web Consortium’s WebContent Accessibility Guidelines Levels A and AA (WCAG 2.0 AA). Other ICT shall qualify as Accessible if it complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA).

II. Addressing ICT Acessibility

The Office of the President oversees implementation of and compliance with the ICT Accessibility Policy. The ICT Accessibility Committee coordinates those efforts. The ICT Accessibility Committee is responsible for submitting recommended revisions to the policy as needed.

Unless listed in Section VI: Exceptions, the following requirements apply to ICT.

A. Instructional Materials: All instructional materials and tools (e.g., videos, images, documents, mobile applications, student response systems [“clickers”]) are required to be Accessible. All third-party content (e.g., publisher content, linked materials) used in a course must be Accessible. It is the responsibility of the School or faculty member providing the materials to ensure Accessibility of third-party content. To this end:

    1. Faculty are required to use College-approved learning management systems (LMS), instructional tools (such as plagiarism detection tools), and captioning tools for all instructional activities. Personal or faculty websites are not to be used for the dissemination of any instructional materials.
    2. ITS and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) will assist faculty in evaluating the Accessibility of other instructional systems, applications, software, video servers, student response systems, and/or equipment upon request. Should a student require Accessible ICT accommodations, any non-Accessible items must be replaced with Accessible alternatives. As faculty redesign and update courses, non-Accessible programs and tools should be replaced with Accessible options.
    3. Students with disabilities may require textbooks and instructional materials (including electronic content and services) in an alternate format to ensure equal access. Alternate formats of materials for students with disabilities must be provided at the same time that other students are able to access the material through regular means. Production of alternate formats can be time-intensive; while some files can be provided within a matter of days, others can take several months to procure and format for use. Given this, faculty should give preference to course materials with an alternate format already available.
    4. If the DRC approves captioning or audio description as an accommodation in a particular course, faculty will cooperate with the DRC to arrange for any essential existing course audio-visual materials to be captioned or audio described. If providing a captioned or audio-described version of a video at the same time that the audio-visual content is shown to the larger class or audience is problematic, alternate Accessible materials must be substituted. When designing and updating courses, faculty shall ensure videos used for participation in a course (including shown during class or used as part of an assignment) are captioned and/or described.
    5. In the event that software or services known not to be Accessible are essential to a course, the instructor must provide the following notice to students in the syllabus: “This course requires the use of [name and description of tool], which is currently not accessible to students using assistive technology. If you use assistive technology to access course materials, please contact me immediately.”
    6. When an Accessible ICT is not available, students with documented disabilities are able to receive Equally Effective Alternate Access to curricular materials converted to alternative format or made Accessible in a timely manner (as determined by the DRC Director). The student must request the accommodation and participate in DRC procedures to identify an equally effective communication format.

B. Audio-Visual Materials: Individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing may require closed captioning of video media and individuals with visual impairments may require audio description of video content. Reasonable accommodations for students, faculty, and staff must be provided at the same time that the multimedia is shown to the larger class or audience. Units/departments must collaborate with the Office of Marketing and Events, the Office of Information and Technology Serivices (ITS), the Disabilities Resource Center, and/or other relevant offices on campus to ensure closed-captioning is available on materials related to their programs and/or services when access to such materials is unrestricted (e.g., video content available to the general public).

    1. Closed-captioning and/or audio-describing must ensure accuracy (words are spelled correctly), synchronicity (ensuring captions do not lag behind or race ahead of the dialogue), completeness (ensuring everything is captioned and that shorthand or truncations are not used unless absolutely necessary), and placement (ensuring that captions do not obscure visual material on screen and, where possible, help convey soundstage and positioning—e.g., putting the captions on the left and right side of the screen to distinguish between two speakers).

C. Classroom, Class Labs, Computer Labs, and Meeting Spaces: The College provides information, training, and support to ensure that ICT used in classrooms, class labs, and meeting spaces is Accessible. Assistive technology is made available in computer labs as appropriate, based upon consultation with the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

D. Websites and Web Content: All websites, web pages, web-based applications, and social media published, adopted, or Significantly Updated by the College on or after the policy effective date must be in compliance with the ICT Accessibility Policy. This includes externally hosted sites and content provided for official College business or instruction. Official College websites must contain a method to report barriers and/or to receive Equally Effective Alternate Access. Each NSC website must contain contact information for the webmaster for those with Accessibility needs.

E. Other Digital Content: Schools and units must ensure communications intended for large audiences (e.g., emails, digital signs, promotional materials, maps, materials in PDF format) related to their programs and/or services are Accessible. Official content that represents the College and is available to the general public must be Accessible.

 III. Requesting Accommodations

Students who require accommodations for Accessible ICT must contact NSC’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 702-992-2180 or drc@nsc.edu well in advance of the beginning of classes or the event for which they need accommodations but in no event later than the deadlines set forth in DRC policies. The DRC will explain required documentation for determining eligibility for reasonable accommodations.

Faculty, staff, and other non-students who require accommodations must submit a request to the Office of Information and Technology Services.

NSC will provide a rationale for denying a request for Accessible ICT.

IV. ICT Procurement Procedures

Online content and functionality created by a third party and used for critical transactions (e.g., websites used for student applications, campus housing, campus dining, registering for classes, paying bills, obtaining transcripts) or to complete required training must be Accessible. Regarding the procurement of ICT from third parties (e.g. vendors), NSC requires that:

Individuals procuring ICT should review Accessibility early in the process of evaluating third-party products. Contracts involving third-party web connections follow normal contract routing and review; this process ensures required language regarding accessibility is included in all agreements. Submit questions or draft contracts to contracts@nsc.edu for evaluation.

V. Implementation Period for Pre-Existing Content

This section defines the deadlines for remediating each category of pre-existing content. The ICT Accessibility Committee shall develop an Accessibility Plan that includes remediation priorities within each category. Priority for implementation will be given to programs, services, or activities that are either highly critical to or are broadly used by the campus, a School, or a unit.

The Accessibility Plan will include procedures, resources, and training necessary to support compliance, as well as implementation deadlines for prioritized content. Support and resources will be made available to faculty and staff, including how to make ICT accessible, how to use automated tools to ensure the accessibility of content, and how to get assistance.

The ICT Accessiblity Committee shall provide an annual report to the President documenting progress toward completing the remediation project.

A. Essential Content and Functionality: Within two (2) fiscal years of the adoption of the NSC ICT Accessibility Policy, all essential (i.e., used to conduct official College academic and business activities or to complete required training) online content and functionality created by NSC must be Accessible.

B. Pre-existing Content and Functionality: Within three (3) fiscal years of the adoption of the NSC ICT Accessibility Policy, all pre-existing (i.e., in use before the date of Policy approval) non-Legacy Content and functionality must be Accessible.

C. Legacy Content and Functionality: Upon request by a qualified person with a disability, any Legacy and Archive content must be Accessible. Equally Effective Alternate Access may be provided until compliance is accomplished.

VI. Exceptions

Exceptions include but are not limited to:

A. Archive Content on websites or web pages, unless specifically requested to be made Accessible by an individual with a disability. If such a request is made, NSHE or the institution must provide Accessible content or Equally Effective Alternate Access;

B. Web pages and websites designed solely to conduct research or created for developmental or test-site purposes, unless specifically requested to be made Accessible by an individual with a disability who has authorization to access those web pages or websites. If such a request is made, NSHE or the College must provide Accessible content or Equally Effective Alternate Access;

C. ICT utilized and intended solely for internal institutional operations, except to the extent that an individual with a documented disability requires Accessible content;

D. Electronic documents posted to College or NSHE websites and subdomains or within their web applications that meet all of the following requirements:

      1. The documents are of interest to a specific and limited audience (e.g., researchers in a particular academic discipline);
      2. The set of documents requiring remediation to be Accessible is voluminous (i.e., the total page count of the electronic documents that reside on a single webpage exceeds 100 pages) or making the documents Accessible is Technically Infeasible;
      3. The documents are presented in such a way that individuals with disabilities are able to identify documents or sections of documents of particular interest and request remediation of those documents.

E. Single-instance, specialized software purchased for individual use;

F. Student work that will not be Archive Content;

G. Instructor-made videos that record feedback to an individual student unless an accommodation is requested per Section III (Requesting Accommodations) of this policy;

H. Web pages, web applications, or web content when making them compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA would result in a Fundamental Alteration or Undue Burden.

The NSC President (or designee who has budgetary authority) may approve additional exceptions to this policy. Such exceptions must only be made after considering all resources available for use in the funding and operation of the service, program, or activity. If an exception is approved, the President (or designee) must provide a written statement of the reasons for the exception, including the estimated cost of meeting the requirement, available funding and other resources, and the plan for providing Equally Effective Alternate Access.

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

Accessibility Checklist for Faculty

CONTACTS

Disability Resource Center (DRC)
Phone: 702-992-2180
Email: drc@nsc.edu

Information & Technology Services
Phone: 702-992-2410

Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE)
Dr. Chris Garrett, Director
Phone: 702-992-2996
Email: Chris.Garrett@nsc.edu

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Development of policy mandated by NSHE September 1, 2017.

APPROVALS

Approved by Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Abby Peters, April 4, 2019.
Approved by Provost Dr. Vickie Shields, April 16, 2019.
Approved by President Bart Patterson, May 9, 2019.

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