About the Accessible Technology Initiative

 

Web Accessibility

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require the CSU to provide qualified individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs, services, or activities. Access to the Internet and its resources is considered an area where the ADA applies. The need to make websites, web applications, and digital content accessible is also underscored by California Government Code 11135, which applies Section 508 requirements to the CSU. The ubiquity of the Internet in delivering information and providing services is reason to make its accessibility a priority for the CSU. Creating and maintaining accessible websites will be ongoing. The dynamic nature of the web and the continuous updating of content requires a process that can be facilitated by the use of an enterprise-wide web evaluation and monitoring tool along with well-defined campus policy and implementation procedures.

Web Accessibility (Administrative)

Access to the Internet and its resources, including websites, web applications, and digital content, is considered an area where the ADA applies. The ubiquity of the Internet in delivering information and providing services is an essential reason to make its accessibility a priority for the CSU. Creating and maintaining accessible websites will be an ongoing institutional responsibility. The dynamic nature of the web and the continuous updating of content require a process that can be facilitated by the use of an enterprise-wide web evaluation and monitoring tool along with well-defined campus policy and implementation procedures.

Background

The California State University (CSU) has an ongoing commitment to provide access to information resources and technologies to individuals with disabilities.  This commitment is articulated in the January 2005 Executive Order 926, the CSU Board of Trustees Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations.

“It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability.”  

This policy is premised on federal and state laws including but not limited to Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and California Government Code 11135of 2003 which applies Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998 to the CSU.

In January 2006, the CSU launched the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) in order to develop the work plan, guidance, and resources to assist campuses in carrying out the accessible technology provisions of EO 926.  Significant consultation took place in the development of this plan.  Those consulted included the Technology Steering Committee (TSC), the Statewide Academic Senate, the Academic Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC), the Provosts Technology Steering Committee (PTSC), the Council of Administration and Business Officers (CABO), Student Affairs Vice Presidents, the CSU Services to Students with Disabilities Advisory .

Systemwide Actions and Resources

As campuses take action to meet implementation goals, the Chancellor’s Office, through the Accessible Technology Initiative, will support systemwide projects that will assist campuses in their efforts.  One of these projects is the Center for Alternate Media (CAM), established in 2004 to enable the sharing of accessible formats of textbooks amongst CSU campuses.  To further assist campuses, the mission of the CAM will be expanded to include research and development of tools and best practices for the creation of accessible digital content. The name change to the Center for Accessible Media indicates this expanded role. In addition to systemwide projects, the following resources are also available to campuses.  

ATI website: Specific guidelines, tools and resources related to the implementation of the three priorities will be available on the ATI website: www.calstate.edu/accessibility

ATI Staff Consultation: The ATI staff will be available to assist campuses in the development and implementation of their plans.  Please contact the ATI Staff at ati@calstate.edu.

 

Web Documents & Links