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600.090 Digital Accessibility Policy

Bd. Min. 4-21-2022.

  1. Definitions

    1. Digital Accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application, or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities.
    2. Assistive Technology is an adaptive device or software which assists persons with disabilities with interacting with technology. Examples include magnification software, screen-reading software, captioning, and speech to text or text to speech programs.
    3. Accessible Information Technology is information technology that has been designed, developed, or procured to be usable by people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technology.
    4. Disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual; a record of having such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
  2. UM System’s Commitment to Accessibility
    1. The UM System is committed to providing and supporting information technologies and digital communications that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, and to meeting or exceeding the requirements of state and federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sections 508 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
    2. We seek to implement information technologies that are accessible to all users, including those who use assistive technologies. An accessible IT environment enhances inclusion and usability for everyone, helping to ensure that as broad a population as possible is able to access, benefit from, and contribute to our programs and services.
    3. Our core goal is to ensure that users with disabilities will have equal 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 way, with substantially equivalent ease of use.
    4. Technology and communications accessibility is an institution-wide responsibility that requires commitment and involvement from leaders across all units of the University.
  3. Policy
    1. Scope: All communications and information technologies operated by the University, including – but not limited to -- web-based communications, software, applications and services, mobile applications, videos and multimedia, instructional materials and online learning modules, telecommunications, computers and computing devices, digital content and files, services, and other applicable and emerging systems or technologies. This scope generally encompasses all technology products used to deliver academic programs and services, student services, information technology services, and public- facing programs and services.
    2. Requirements: We will seek to deploy to the extent feasible information technologies that have been designed, developed, or procured to be accessible to all users, including those who use assistive technologies. Under this policy, all UM locations must:
      1. Develop, purchase, and/or acquire, to the extent reasonable, hardware and software products that are accessible.
      2. Promote awareness of this policy to all members of the University community, particularly those in roles that are responsible for creating, selecting, or maintaining electronic content, communications, or applications.
  4. Implementation
    1. Each University’s Chancellor, Provost, and CIO will facilitate implementation of the policy on each campus according to the unique goals, needs, and resources of their campus.
    2. Implementation of digital accessibility will be a continuous and iterative process over the course of decades, and the approach will evolve as technology evolves. Thus, guidance on current accessibility standards, shared resources, prioritization guidelines, and training materials will be created and regularly updated to support the integration of digital accessibility into each University’s daily processes and IT environments.
    3. A UM System Digital Accessibility Committee will be created to advise the President, steer long-term implementation of the policy, and foster collaboration and shared resources across the UM System. The committee shall be composed of faculty, staff, and student members, with representation from each of the four campuses. Members shall be appointed by the Chancellor of each University, and each University will designate at least one committee member as a primary contact for their campus community.

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