Information Technology Policies

X-99.22(A)

UMB POLICY ON WEB ACCESSIBILITY

Information Technology   |   Approved October 4, 2019


Responsible VP/AVP

Peter J. Murray, PhD


Purpose

University Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is committed to providing equitable access to web based content and services on UMB Web pages and sites. Incorporating principles associated with web accessibility helps ensure web-based resources (Web pages, documents, services, applications, etc.) are accessible to the widest possible audience. This policy helps reinforce UMB’s efforts in maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational and working environment for individuals of all abilities. It will ensure equal access to UMB’s information and services, courses of instruction, departmental programs, and UMB-sponsored activities.

Policy Statement

UMB recognizes web based content is integral to academic and administrative work of the organization. UMB will establish equitable access to information, programs and activities on UMB Web Based Content accessible to people with all abilities. This Policy applies to UMB Websites, regardless of whether they are built by UMB staff or Suppliers.

Definitions

Accessible

The inclusive practice of ensuring people of all abilities are given equal access to information and functionality. In the context of this policy and related procedure, this specifically relates to the ability to use Web Based Content.

Site Owner

Responsible for policy compliance to implement, administer or enforce the web accessibility policy for one or more University websites within their purview.

Supplier

An individual or entity engaged by the University through staff, faculty, or students to furnish a University Web site or services relating to the development, design, production, or maintenance of an Official UMB Web site.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Best practices and requirements compiled by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that focuses specifically on accessibility standards creation.

Web-Application

Any application that delivers content intended to be rendered in a web browser.

Web Page

A single internet address (aka URL) that contains content that must be viewed through a web browser. Usually, multiple web pages are linked to define a website.

Website

Collection of Web pages residing under a single domain and whose content is centered around a single organizational unit or workgroup, a university course, a research or business activity or an area of academic content.

Archived Web pages

Represent a historical snapshot of a course, non-public/private research project, or other web information, and not used to gather or disseminate information about any current course, currently active and public research project, or current administrative function of the university.

Web Based Content

All digital material, resources, information, and assets displayed or otherwise rendered to users during an online session via a web browser. Web content can include web pages, text, images, video, audio, documents, and any content rendered by dynamic web-based applications. Assets delivered to users via download but not intended for web-based online use, such as software installation packages, are not considered web content. Digital materials distributed exclusively by methods other than web browser display, such as documents distributed exclusively via email, are not web content.

Official UMB Website

Sites that have been created or sponsored by UMB, its schools, departments, units, or administrative offices and are used in the process of conducting official UMB business or academic activities. Web based-applications developed in-house and from outside vendors are considered official.

Unofficial Website

Those sites published by individuals such as students or UMB employees, or by non-UMB organizations, which do not conduct University business or support UMB sponsored activities. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Accessibility Requirements

All new Official UMB Websites that are created or that undergo substantial revisions or redesign after January 1, 2020, are required to be accessible. Revisions of Official UMB Websites may include the adoption of/migration to a new platform, modification of the majority of the content, or another change that substantially alters usability or design.

Supplier agreements for new or substantially revised or redesigned UMB Websites must be reviewed for compliance by the respective Site Owner and the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) before it is submitted to Strategic Sourcing and Acquisition Services (SSAS).

Official UMB Websites must include a clear notice that affirms the University’s commitment to accessibility and must provide a user-friendly way for individuals to report accessibility issues. For more details, see the Web Accessibility Procedure located on the UMB Policies and Procedures website.

In addition, Official UMB Websites must contain the following language on each Web Page:

“Web Accessibility” in the footer or any visible location that will link to a common institutional Web page that contains the following statement: “The University of Maryland, Baltimore is committed to equal access to Web content. For more information about accessibility at UMB, or requesting an alternate format, please complete the Web Accessibility Feedback Form at: https://cf.umaryland.edu/feedback/.”

Existing Official UMB Websites

For existing Official UMB Websites, schools and central administrative units must develop a plan for achieving compliance with the WCAG 2.0 Level AA by January 1, 2021, unless an exemption has been granted. For information-based pages, equally effective means that it communicates the same information with a comparable level of accuracy. For interactive or service pages, equally effective means

that the end results (e.g. registration) are accomplished in a comparable time and with comparable effort on the part of the requester. If course materials and online courses are not accessible, alternative accommodations must be provided to the student. In addition, all Official UMB Websites must include a clear notice that affirms the University’s commitment to accessibility and must provide a user-friendly way for individuals to report accessibility issues. For more details, see the Web Accessibility Procedure located on the UMB Policies and Procedures website.

Downloads

Related Resources

Accessibility Guidelines for Applications - developed by Center for Information Technology (CITS)
https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/service-catalog/application-development/accessibility/

UMB Web Accessibility - developed by Office of Communications and Public Affairs (OCPA)
https://www.umaryland.edu/web-accessibility/
UMB Website Accessibility Manual
https://www.umaryland.edu/cpa/toolbox/website-manual/accessibility/

Office of Educational Support and Disability Services http://www.umaryland.edu/disabilityservices/

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview
https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/

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