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Electronic & Information Technology Accessibility

SUNY Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility

SUNY colleges and universities increasingly utilize technology to facilitate everything from recruitment to instruction. Consistent with its long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, SUNY recognizes the growing responsibilities associated with this reliance on technology to assure that individuals with disabilities and individuals who are temporarily disabled have equitable access to electronic information resources. From purchasing and creating digital content to software, the focus is rightly placed on universal design, allowing all individuals to engage.

At SUNY, the following standards have been created to provide guidance on electronic & information technology and web accessibility. These standards are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Reference: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Accessibility Standards

Web Accessibility Standards
(WAS)
Digital Content Accessibility Standards
(DCAS)
Classroom Accessibility Standards
(CAS)
Library Accessibility Guidelines
(LAG)
Procurement Accessibility Standards
(PAS)

Web Accessibility Standards

The following standards have been created to provide guidance on web accessibility. These standards are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Reference: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).


Images

Provide meaningful alt text for all images, except cases described below:

  • Use null alt text for decorative images (alt="")
  • Images used as links (without accompanying text description) have alt text indicating link target
  • If the same visual presentation can be made using text alone, an image is not used to present that text
  • When a text link and image link with the same URL are grouped, use a single < a > element and a null alt tag for the image

Multimedia

  • Establish a timely process for requesting synchronized captions for multimedia
  • Provide synchronized captions for public-facing audio-video content
  • Provide transcripts for audio-only content
  • Provide descriptive audio for audio-video and video-only content, when needed
  • Ensure audio and video does not begin playing on page load
  • Provide synchronized captions for live audio-video content

Color

  • Color is not the only means used to convey information
  • There is sufficient contrast between foreground and background text
  • There is sufficient contrast when color is used to convey information

Links

  • Link text describes the destination of the link
  • All links are distinguishable

Structure

  • Heading structure is logical
  • Heading structure includes an H1 tag and does not skip levels
  • Reading order is logical and intuitive
  • Information and relationships that are implied by visual or auditory formatting are conveyed in accessible ways

Keyboard/Navigation

  • Provide a method to skip repetitive navigation
  • The option to skip links is the first option when tabbing
  • All links are available using the keyboard
  • There are no "keyboard traps"
  • The tabbing order is logical
  • Keyboard focus is visible
  • Presentation, layout, and navigation are consistent for repeated content

Labels/Titles

  • All form controls are properly labeled
  • All tables are properly labeled
  • Frames and iFrames have appropriate titles

Miscellaneous

  • Every page contains a link to an accessibility statement that provides contact information to get help if needed
  • The page is readable and functional when text size is doubled
  • The page has a descriptive page title
  • The language of the page is identified using the HTML lang attribute
  • Instructions do not rely solely on size, shape, color, or visual location
  • No content flashes more than 3 times per second
  • If a page has a timing, the user is given options to turn off, adjust or extend the timing
  • Multiple ways are available to find other web pages on the site
  • When appropriate, the language of sections of content that are in different languages are identified, for example, by using the lang attribute

Digital Content Accessibility Standards

The standard below serves to summarize digital content accessibility standards associated with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These standards apply to digital materials, including, but not limited to, locating and creating digital content for public and controlled consumption. Reference: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Text Alternatives & Color

  • A text equivalent for every non-text element is provided (“alt” tags/text, captions, transcripts, etc.).
  • Color is not the only means used to convey information
  • Link text describes the destination of the link (No "click here" or "learn more")
  • All links are distinguishable (must be able to differentiate links from non-link text)
  • Use readable fonts and sizes, color contrast, and keep number of fonts used to a minimum
  • Graphs, charts and maps include contextual or supporting details in text surrounding the image

Data Tables

  • Table header rows and columns are assigned
  • When possible, information is displayed in a linear format not as a table
  • Avoid split cells, empty cells, merged cells, and embedded tables

Images

  • Provide meaningful alt text for all images, except as described below:
  • Use null alt text for decorative images (alt= "")
  • Images used as links (without accompanying text description) have alt text indicating link target
  • If the same visual presentation can be made using text alone, an image is not used to present that text.

Formulas

  • For web pages, use an equation editor that outputs MathML. (e.g., MathType)
  • For documents and presentations, use an equation editor that supports accessibility (e.g., MathType)

Structure and Navigation

  • Use source (original) document when possible - apply accessibility features within source document
  • The document contains a descriptive page title that makes sense
  • Heading structure includes an H1 tag and does not skip levels (is sequential)
  • Use the built-in features, styles, and templates (including predefined slides) of software to align spacing and designate lists
  • Use different titles for each presentation slide
  • Fillable documents (forms) are labeled appropriately
  • Machine readable (ensure doc is not an image and text is renderable)
  • Keyboard navigable
  • Reading order is logical and intuitive (Verify reading order using tab key)

Multimedia

  • Establish a timely process for requesting synchronized captions for multimedia
  • Provide synchronized captions for newly created or adopted audio-video content
  • Provide transcripts for audio-only content
  • Provide descriptive audio for audio-video and video-only content, when needed
  • Ensure video player controls are available and accessible via keyboard
  • Ensure audio and video does not begin playing on page load
  • Provide synchronized captions for live audio-video content

Accessibility Awareness & Verification

  • Use built-in accessibility checkers in various software tools (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat)
  • Course syllabi contain an accessibility statement to inform students of available campus resources
  • Newly developed courses undergo accessibility review
  • Recurring existing courses undergo accessibility review

Classroom Accessibility Standards

The following standard serves to summarize many of the pertinent building standards and codes associated with general purpose Classrooms within the State of New York. Reference: 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Assistive Listening Systems Availability*

  • For spaces less than or equal to 50 seats = 2 receivers
  • 51 - 200 seats = 2 receivers plus 1 receiver per every 25 seats over 50
  • 201 - 500 seats = 2 receivers plus 1 receiver per every 25 seats over 50
  • 501 - 1000 seats = 20 receivers plus 1 per every 33 seats over 500
  • 1001 - 2000 seats = 35 receivers plus 1 per every 50 seats over 1000
  • 2001 and over = 55 receivers plus 1 per every 100 seats over 2000 seats
  • Assisted Listening Systems shall be capable of providing audio at a sound pressure range between 110dB to 118dB, with a volume sweep of 50dB
  • Hearing Loop installation
  • Summed audio output available in room AV system

Classroom Controls – Color Blindness

  • Color choices on control systems should reflect universal design for common color blindness accommodation (Top choices would be black, yellow/orange, blue)
  • Emergency Notifications in Classrooms should reflect universal design for common color blindness accommodation (Top choices would be black, yellow/orange, blue)

*Assisted Listening Systems come in many shapes and delivery methods. Wi-Fi, FM, RF, and Bluetooth systems can be leveraged in order to keep costs low. Systems specific to individuals can be used in lieu of installed systems, and still meet the regulations.

Library Accessibility Guidelines

This set of guidelines serves to support Campus Libraries in promoting best practices to achieve EIT Accessibility as it pertains to critical library functions, including but not limited to, services, collections, and spaces. Refer to other standards listed in this document where relevant and essential to delivering accessible library services and supports. References: IFLA Access to Libraries for Persons with Disabilities.


Library Services

  • Establish policies and procedures for making library materials accessible in a variety of formats (e.g., requests for accommodation, alternative format, OCR scans
  • Provide instructions, documentation, and handouts available in an accessible digital format upon request
  • Provide access, resource, and service information on a library accessibility webpage (see the Non-EIT Appendix for additional web page recommendations)
  • Designate a liaison or contact within the library to provide EIT-related support
  • Provide training to library staff on available assistive technology and EIT best practices
  • Provide assistive technologies and equipment in computer labs, particularly in specialized spaces such as makerspaces

Digitizing Content

  • Ensure documents and forms digitized or hosted by the library are accessible, or can be made accessible upon request
  • Perform high quality source document scans
  • When scans for instructional and research materials are requested (e.g., course reserves, ILL), conduct basic OCR scans (text-renderable). Purchasing a new digital document, physical book, or processing by an external vendor may be required to achieve basic accessibility
  • Identify and purchase materials that are captioned, or allow and promote the use of interlibrary loan to request captioned titles if your library owns the (uncaptioned) item
  • Include transcripts for any media recordings

Procurement Accessibility Conformance Standards

Consistent with expectations of the field, and requirements emerging from case law, the following checklist was created to proactively address EIT accessibility within purchasing policies and procedures. These standards are targeted to anyone involved in purchasing electronic and information technologies.


Preliminary Steps

  • Gauge potential impact on the University of a particular product or service's accessibility

Gathering Information

  • Include accessibility in pre-purchase documents/questionnaires
  • Commitment to accessibility is reflected in RFP language
  • Collect documentation verifying EIT accessibility conformance (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template)
  • Obtain Accessibility Roadmap - document which addresses all [application] interface accessibility gaps, describe the timelines by which these accessibility gaps will be remediated, as well as recommendations regarding interim workarounds.

Review Product/Service

  • High impact EIT products and services should be evaluated by an appropriately qualified individual or entity. This evaluation should be documented and can be performed by campus personnel or through third-party vendors. Cost for an external evaluation can be deferred to the prospective vendor(s).
  • Conduct Exceptions on a case-by-case basis
  • Evaluate RFP EIT finalists through live accessibility demonstration
  • Prepare an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan for non-conforming EIT

Place Order

  • Include accessibility assurances in purchase agreements; add milestones to remediate accessibility gaps identified in accessibility roadmap
  • Set a calendar date to check in with vendor on accessibility improvements (e.g., annually)
Accessibility