Department of Justice: Campuses Must Ensure Digital Accessibility

Two recent rulings by the Department of Justice (DOJ) reinforce their continued emphasis that Universities must “ensure that” campus technology be accessible. In a recent settlement agreement with Louisiana Tech University, a DOJ summary sent the following message:

“…the University must implement a policy that requires the deployment of accessible technology and course content in the University setting. To that end, the University shall conduct a review of the accessibility of its technology and instructional materials and shall ensure that,from the effective date of and consistent with the Settlement Agreement, all technology, including websites, instructional materials and online courses, and other electronic and information technology for use by students or prospective students, is accessible.” (Paragraph 13(a)).

The Department of Education’s agreement with the South Carolina Technical College System last March stated:

“‘Accessible’ means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.” (Resolution Agreement South Carolina Technical College System OCR Compliance Review No. 11-11-6002)

Want more information about these rulings and how they impact UIC? The Disability Resource Center and the UIC Digital Accessibility Committee is going to sponsor a audioconference put on by AHEAD, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, called:

“A Clear Standard for Access to Instruction”

presented on Thursday, August 29, 2013, 2:00 – 3:30 PM CT. This audio conference will be important for all faculty, administrators, purchasing officers, and IT staff. Please RSVP to Kevin Price by email, pricek@uic.edu to reserve your seat at this audioconference.

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