IRM-008: University Information Technology Accessibility

Date: 06/09/2006 Status: Final
Last Revised: 04/28/2014
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: President of the University
Applies To:

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

Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

This policy is established to support the University of Virginia community in promoting equal access opportunity to information technology by the application of accessibility standards, guidelines, training, tools and methods consistent with higher education and their medical centers. The aim is to provide this opportunity in a setting that fosters independence and meets the guidelines of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This policy sets forth accessibility standards and guidelines that reflect best practices for achieving the accessibility of information technology for use by persons with disabilities.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Accessibility:

    The University objective that everyone within the University community, regardless of physical disability, will have the opportunity for appropriate access to information technology.

Policy Statement:

The procurement, development, and/or maintenance of information technology and user support services for persons with disabilities align with accessibility standards specified in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and in "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" from the World Wide Web Consortium, appropriately tailored to the specific circumstances of the University and its Medical Center.

Accessibility standards are designed to evolve and change, as newer technologies are introduced and user needs change. At the same time, the standards maintain a consistent framework for accessibility training and support services. University information technology development, maintenance, training and support personnel who are responsible for information technology procurement, programs and services possess an appropriate level of technical knowledge related to accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

An overview of information technology accessibility resources is provided at and for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise at

Related Information:

U.S. Government – Americans with Disability Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 standards

U.S. Government – the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508 standards

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international organization that develops inter-operable technologies (technologies that can communicate with each other), e.g., specifications, guidelines, software and tools, to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C is a forum of information, commerce, communication and collective understanding. Of particular relevance are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Copyright © 1999 W3C (MIT, INRIA, Keio) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Copyright © 2005 W3C ® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved. W3C liability, trademark and document use rules apply.

Translation of this policy in Chinese, Spanish, or Korean, refer to the EOCR website page on Language Diversity.

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. This delegation includes the authority to conduct these activities in accordance with industry best practices appropriately tailored for the specific circumstances of the University, in lieu of following Commonwealth-determined specifications. This policy documents the industry best practices with which the University will align its IT accessibility activities.

Major Category: Information Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 04/28/2017
Approved by, Date: Board of Visitors, 06/09/2006
Revision History: Updated 4/28/14.