18-1 Web Accessibility (Third Release)

1.0 Purpose

1.1    Wayne State University is committed to making its online content provided through University web pages accessible to students, prospective students, employees, vendors, guests and visitors with disabilities, particularly those with visual, hearing and manual impairments or who otherwise require the use of assistive technology to access information.[1] Consistent with the University's commitment to equal access and to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. Section 794, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), 42 U.S.C. Section 12131 et seq., and its implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. Part 35, this policy establishes minimum requirements to ensure accessibility of electronic information created or disseminated on University websites.

2.0 Scope

2.1    This policy applies to all public University Web pages used to conduct core University business.[2] While this policy does not apply to non-public course and intranet content, the University maintains its commitment to make such course content accessible consistent with University policy, Section 504 and other applicable laws. Students in need of academic/course related accessibility accommodations should contact Student Disability Services as set forth below.

2.2    Effective August 1, 2018, all new and redesigned University Web pages must be in compliance with the technical guidelines set forth in this policy, unless granted an exception as outlined below. The University will prioritize the remediation of highly trafficked pages and core functions of the University (i.e. admission, enrollment paths, advising, etc.). Pages not crucial to core University business (pages related to events in the past, etc.), or created on platforms outside of the University (embedded Google Maps, social media feeds, etc.) will be directed to the Web Accessibility Coordinator to facilitate and execute an expedited remediation effort.  All vendors will need to provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to the University and web-based applications will undergo an accessibility review during the procurement proess.

2.3    The University is not responsible for user generated content on the platform. User generated content is defined as content such as videos, blogs, discussion forum posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publicly available to other consumers and end-users.

3.0 Policy

3.1    All public University Web pages must be in compliance with the Technical Standards identified under the "Technical Standards" section below and available at https://wayne.edu/accessibility unless granted an exception as set forth in the "Exceptions" section below.  Voluntary adoption of the Technical Standards is encouraged for all other Web pages not covered by this policy.

4.0 Technical Standards

4.1    Wayne State University will adhere to the technical standards of compliance identified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2, Level A and AA outlined at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/.[3]

5.0 Web Accessibility Coordinators

For Faculty/Staff/General Public:
Krystal Tosch, Web Accessibility Coordinator
Marketing and Communications
5700 Cass Ave, Suite 3100
Detroit, Michigan 48202

For Students:
Cherise Frost, Director of Student Disability Services
5155 Gullen Mall
1600 Undergraduate Library
Detroit, Michigan 48202

6.0 Exceptions

6.1     Units seeking an exception to this policy must submit a written request to the "Web Accessibility Coordinator," detailing why compliance is not feasible and how the unit will make information from its Web pages available to individuals with a disability in an equally effective manner. Such exceptions will be evaluated in accordance with the University's obligations under 28 C.F.R. Part 35.164.

7.0 Complaints and Violations

7.1     Complaints regarding accessibility of University Web pages may be directed to the "Web Accessibility Coordinator" (https://wayne.edu/accessibility) and/or users may file a formal complaint with the University Office of Equal Opportunity under the Wayne State University Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Process (https://policies.wayne.edu/academics/05-03-discrimination-harassment) in accordance with Section 504 and Title II. The "Web Accessibility Coordinator" is responsible for investigating complaints of non-compliance and for referring those responsible for non-compliant websites to the Office of Computing & Information Technology for remediation. Remediation efforts may include removal of the site from the Internet until the Web page is in compliance with this policy. Once the University has been notified of potentially inaccessible content, the Web Accessibility Coordinator will work with the University department or outside source to provide alternative access to inaccessible content in a prompt manner.

8.0 Duration and Effective Date

8.1     This policy is revocable by the president at any time and without notice.

8.2     This university policy is effective upon issuance.

Signed by President Kimberly Andrews Espy, May, 9th, 2024

[1]The reference to "web pages" refers to both web pages and web sites, including their design as well as their web-delivered service, documents and content.

[2]Examples of core University business include publicly accessible Web pages accessed by students, employees, vendors or visitors to participate in a program, service or activity offered by the University.

[3]Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 are industry-wide standards that cover a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. "Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make  Web content more usable to users in general." See https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/.