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Achieving an Accessibility Policy at the University of California, by Lucy Greco

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Achieving an Accessibility Policy at the University of California, by Lucy Greco

  1. 1. Achieving an Accessibility Policy at the University of California Lucy Greco Web Accessibility Evangelist University of California, Berkeley Chair of University of California Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team
  2. 2. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Why would a University need a policy on accessibility? • In most cases, the law is clear and to the point for post- secondary education • In the case of the University of California (UC), law was unclear and specifically vague • Individuals working on websites wanted to do the right thing, but were unsure of where to begin
  3. 3. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Challenges Faced • The UC has 10 campuses, 5 medical centers, and 3 affiliated national laboratories • The UC enrolls more than 238,000 students and employs more than 190,000 faculty and staff • Each campus has various different areas of focus. Some have larger populations of undergrads, whereas others are research facilities or medical centers • The IT infrastructure of each campus varies immensely, from campuses that have centralized IT to several different IT infrastructures on a single campus.
  4. 4. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT The Crowd Gathers • Some of the campuses in the UC system have begun collaborating • The composition of individuals from each campus was quite different: – Individuals from Disabled Student Services – IT professionals – Assistive technology experts – Administrative and managerial – Compliance and legal experts – People with and without disabilities
  5. 5. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Our First Efforts • Representatives from almost all the campuses began to meet monthly to begin formulating a policy • A small subgroup drafted several versions of a policy that the extended group reviewed • The draft in 2007 said that the UC would meet Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
  6. 6. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Sometimes We Fail • After 1.5 years of working on this policy, the draft was initially sent out to various different communities throughout the UC system • The response was extraordinarily positive about the fact that a policy was needed, but felt it was too soon and needed more information and support
  7. 7. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Failure Might be Necessary for Improvement and Success • After hearing back from all the constituent communities, the group evaluated the feedback and strategized to fill the gaps indicated from the comments – Developers could not be expected to implement accessibility requirements in a vacuum; they require training and guidance – Higher-level administration needed to indicate support – Individuals needed tools to evaluate accessibility
  8. 8. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Creating the Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team • In 2007/2008, the UC IT Leadership Council formed a committee to guide the future initiative for electronic accessibility • This committee was required to have one or two representatives from every campus and other UC affiliates • The role of these representatives was to report on progress and ideas shared throughout the system
  9. 9. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Giving People Structure and Guidance • EALT began evaluating enterprise testing tools to assist developers in knowing if these sites were accessible or not • Subject area experts were brought in to assist in writing a better policy • A subcommittee drafted guidance for campus buyers to purchase accessible technology • Training opportunities were provided to developers from all over the state to learn about accessible web development
  10. 10. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Reaching the Finish Line • Over a period of 2.5 years, the policy went through intense revisions, including feedback from all over the system • Changes were added that allowed for accommodation based on individual campus need • When forwarding the policy to constituent groups, the working group would engage to ensure that the feedback would be included in future edits
  11. 11. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Constituency Groups Included: • Web developers from all over the UC system • The IT Leadership Council • Compliance and legal experts • Staff assemblies and faculty assemblies
  12. 12. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT At Last, a Policy Achieved • On August 27th, 2013, UC President Mark Yudof signed the final UC Information Technology Accessibility Policy • Link to policy: – http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/7000611/IMT-1300
  13. 13. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT What Did the Policy say? • UC will strive to have its websites meet the WCAG 2.0 standard • UC will place the most emphasis on new purchases and new development, as that will have the most lasting effect • UC must be accessible to all members of its community and beyond • Each campus can devise its own strategy to implement the policy, and create an organizational infrastructure to train, purchase, and develop to ensure accessibility.
  14. 14. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT What’s Next? • The work of the Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team has only just begun – In the past six months, we have begun work on language to be included in purchasing documents – We have started formalizing ways to benchmark where each of the campuses are with accessibility, to determine what needs improvement, and what sort of training should be provided – We have created some draft prioritization rubrics to guide campuses in their efforts to move forward with accessibility
  15. 15. ACCESSIBILITY POLICY | UC/EALT Any Questions? • For more information on EALT, visit our website: http://www.ucop.edu/electronic- accessibility/initiative/index.html • Email Lucy Greco: lgreco@berkeley.edu

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