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IRM-008: University Information Technology Accessibility

Date: 06/09/2006 Status: Final
Last Revised: 10/19/2021
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships
Applies To:

Academic Division, Medical Center, and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

This policy sets forth the strong commitment of the University to provide equal access to information and communication technology in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as other applicable state and federal law and regulation. The aim of this policy is to facilitate equal access for individuals with disabilities and improve usability in general for all faculty, staff, students, and members of the University community who seek to access the University’s programs, activities, and service through use of information technology.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Accessible (Accessibility):Individuals with disabilities can independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use.
  • Disability(ies):A mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
    • Major Life Activities:Include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
  • Information Technology (IT):Includes any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the acquisition, creation, conversion, display, duplication, exchange, interchange, manipulation, management, movement, processing, reception, storage, or transmission of data or information. It includes, but is not limited to: (1) the internet and intranet websites, content delivered in digital format, electronic books and electronic book reading systems, search engines and databases, learning management systems, classroom technology and multimedia, personal response systems (clickers), and office equipment such as audio/digital classroom podiums, copiers, and fax machines; and (2) telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks, automated teller machines (ATMs), transaction machines, computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.
Policy Statement:

Any information technology purchased, developed, and/or maintained by the University, including any information technology obtained, provided, developed, and/or maintained by third-party vendors, related to the provision of University programs, activities, or services must be accessible to individuals with disabilities and in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Compliance with Policy:
Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in (1) disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies; and (2) the University taking measures that may impact the school, department, or unit. The University also recognizes that there may be business needs or academic pursuits that require deviation from this policy or the use of different standards. Any deviation from this policy or the use of different standards requires coordination with and approval from the Contact Office to remain compliant with the requirements of this policy.

Failure to comply with this policy also may result in non-compliance with federal or state laws and could result in an investigation or action by an external agency.

Questions about this policy should be directed to the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights.

Policy Background:

The Commonwealth of Virginia Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act of 2005 grants institutions additional authority over financial and administrative operations, on condition that certain commitments to the Commonwealth are met. The University of Virginia’s Management Agreement with the Commonwealth provides full delegated responsibility for management of the institution’s information technology architecture, infrastructure, and ongoing operations, of which IT accessibility is a part.

Major Category:
Information Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Board of Visitors, 06/09/2006
Revision History:

Revised 10/19/21; Updated 4/28/14.