Web Accessibility Policy

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Approved by:
    • Communications and Marketing, Center for Student Success, Calvin Information Technology
  • Issued: April 4, 2019

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Tim Berners-Lee, creator of World Wide Web

Calvin College is committed to creating an atmosphere where diversity and inclusion flourish. Our commitment includes welcoming community members from various races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, and abilities.

Policy

The purpose of this policy, in accordance with federal and state law, is to facilitate and verify that information provided through Calvin.edu is accessible and functional for people of all abilities, particularly those with visual, hearing or manual impairments or who otherwise require the use of assistive technology to access information. Calvin is committed to providing equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by technology through comparable access to persons with disabilities.

Scope

This policy applies to all college web pages and websites that conduct core administrative or academic activities1. Calvin faculty and staff are responsible for implementing and ensuring access to their web content—as part of their official role at the college—in accordance with applicable federal and state regulations2.

The policy does not apply to web pages and websites published by students, employees, and non-college organizations hosted by Calvin for personal use or independent projects unrelated to core administrative or academic activities.

Web accessibility standards

  • WCAG 2.0, Level AA conformance will be the technical standard for evaluating the accessibility of Calvin’s web presence.
  • As technologies advance, the college will continue to consider, and may adopt, additional standards at the recommendation of the communications and marketing department; however, in no case should any additional standards be interpreted as diminishing or negating the existing technical standard.

The Web Accessibility Coordinator will:

  • have sufficient knowledge, skill and experience to understand and employ the college’s Web Accessibility Standards;
  • be housed in the communications and marketing department;
  • conduct regular audits to measure the college’s web content against the Web Accessibility Standards;
  • document and evaluate problems identified through audits; and
  • ensure that the Web Accessibility Standards adopted by the college are documented on Calvin’s website.

Web Accessibility Coordinator contact person

The Web Accessibility Committee will:

  • consist of (at a minimum) a participant from each of the following offices or departments: communications and marketing, Center for Student Success, and information technology;
  • develop and define procedures to ensure that web content meets the college’s Web Accessibility Standards;
  • develop procedures to ensure that web content that does not meet the Web Accessibility Standards is evaluated and, if necessary, remediated within a reasonable period of time; and
  • develop procedures for evaluating and responding to exception requests to the Web Accessibility Policy.

Third-party compliance with accessibility

  • Calvin information technology will work to incorporate Web Accessibility Standards compliance validation into the IT purchase process; and
  • assist the web accessibility coordinator in developing methods for tracking compliance with training requirement(s).

Accessibility training

The web accessibility coordinator and web accessibility committee will:

  • develop an annual training program to educate staff, faculty and student employees who, as part of their official college functions, create, maintain, post or distribute web content, which may include, for persons who have been fully trained at least once, training requirements that include provision of this policy, notification of any updates and provides the name and contact information of the web accessibility coordinator;
  • verify that training is facilitated, in whole or in part, by an individual with sufficient knowledge, skill and experience to understand and employ the college’s Web Accessibility Standards;
  • develop a system for verifying that all of the individuals identified above complete the training requirements of this policy; and
  • work with appropriate college entities to develop processes and procedures to make completion of annual training a condition of access to the college’s web presence.
  • Training must, at a minimum, explain the Web Accessibility Policy and discuss each individual’s role and responsibility to verify that web content is accessible.

Calvin faculty, staff and student employees who create, maintain, post or distribute web content as part of their official college role will:

  • complete all accessibility training requirements defined by the web accessibility committee; and
  • inform the web accessibility coordinator if/when they come across web content that may not be accessible.

Grievance procedure and reporting

Website accessibility issues should be reported to the web accessibility coordinator or by email to webmanager@calvin.edu. Any person can refer to the college’s Grievance Procedures for Persons with Disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Compliance

Calvin College reserves the right to remove any non-compliant content if its remediation is not addressed in a timely manner.

Individuals found to be repeatedly posting or distributing web content in violation of this policy may be required to complete additional training or repeat the accessibility training program described within this policy. Subsequent violations may result in suspension of access to create, edit, or publish web content and/or other disciplinary action in accordance with college policy.

Policy review

Calvin’s Web Accessibility Policy will be reviewed at least once every five years and updated as needed by the web accessibility coordinator.

Notes

1Web pages that conduct administrative and academic activities include Web pages that students, faculty, staff or visitors must access in order to effectively participate in a program, service, or activity offered by Calvin College. Examples of such academic activities include admissions, registration, advising, and academic course work. Examples of administrative activities include financial services, human resources, and information technology services frequently used by employees or visitors.

2Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Michigan Legislature Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, Act 220 of 1976

*Many college and university web policies were reviewed in the formation of Calvin’s Web Accessibility Policy. Particular thanks to Western Michigan University for its excellent example and administration.

Questions

Luke Robinson

Luke Robinson

Web Developer and Manager of Web R&D
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