IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say.

In this video project by DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the University of Washington, university leaders, including our own former President Ray, discuss the importance of IT accessibility."

Intent of the IT Accessibility Policy

The intent of the IT Accessibility Policy and guidelines are to promote full access to university electronic information resources, technologies and services for students, employees, guests and visitors, including those with disabilities. The policy promotes access through design standards for websites, inclusive of electronic documents and multimedia located on websites. The hardware and software guidelines promote access through the acquisition and development process. Hardware and software will eventually be incorporated into the policy after thorough discussion and vetting with the university community. The ultimate goal of the policy and guidelines is that Oregon State University Web pages, information and services be accessible to the widest possible audience, including users of adaptive, alternate or emerging technologies.

The policy and guidelines are meant to reflect the fundamental principles of equality of opportunity under Section 504 and the ADA. Equality of opportunity means more than equal treatment; it means an opportunity to participate, obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement, and that disparate or separate treatment should be permitted only when necessary for equal opportunity.

The policy and guidelines are drawn from widely accepted and commonly used standards and guidance. For example, many are modeled upon standards promulgated under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, a federal law that imposes technology access requirements on federal agencies. Although Section 508 standards do not apply to Oregon State University, they are commonly known in the information technology industry and provide useful guidance. They are also drawn in many instances from standards and recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international consortium dedicated to building consensus around Web technologies. Likewise, the W3C standards provide useful guidance. Whenever possible, each specific policy point or guideline includes reference to the relevant standard or recommendation upon which it is based.

Implementation of these guidelines will help achieve the goal that all individuals have access to information technology associated with administration and services, courses of instruction, departmental programs, and University-sponsored activities.

The policy and guidelines are not intended to and do not create rights independent of those under existing legal requirements; rather, they are intended as a guide to assist the University in achieving the University's goal of creating an accessible, inclusive educational and work environment.

Internal or external users with questions about these guidelines or their implementation should contact Oregon State University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. Users with questions related to technical assistance or guidance can also email [email protected] or visit the contacts page for specific offices or individuals that can help answer your questions.