Digital Accessibility Policy

Purpose

The University of Chicago (the “University”) is committed to making its web properties accessible to the widest possible audience. In accordance with this commitment, and with the knowledge that accessible digital content generally enhances usability for everyone, the University has adopted a Digital Accessibility Policy (the “Policy”) to improve the user experience of its Web Properties.

Applicability

This Policy applies to University Web Properties, as defined below, and related digital content.

Policy

  1. University Web Properties that are created or undergo substantial revisions or redesign after August 1, 2021 are required to conform to the Web Properties Management Standards.
  2. All Site Owners of University Web Properties must make any new digital content conform to the Web Properties Management Standards after August 1, 2021.
  3. If an existing University Web Property will not undergo substantial revisions, redesign, or make use of new digital content for the foreseeable future, the Site Owner should use best efforts to make the Web Property conform to the Web Properties Management Standards.
  4. If the University receives a request from an individual who is unable to access content on a University Web Property for reasons of a disability, the Site Owner must, in a timely manner, either update the requested content to conform to the Web Properties Management Standards, or make the content available in an alternative format, in accordance with this Policy.

The Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs and ADA/504 Coordinator, or designee, may require that some or all non-accessible portions of any University Web Property be updated to follow the Web Properties Management Standards, and the expense of that work may be charged to the unit that is responsible for the University Web Property.

Exceptions

If it would result in a fundamental alteration of the intended function of the University Web Property or pose an undue burden to conform to the Web Properties Management Standards, Site Owners may request an exception. (Insufficient funds of a particular unit will not normally be considered a reason for an exception.)

The Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs and ADA/504 Coordinator, or designee, will evaluate requests for exceptions and determine whether and to what extent exceptions will be granted. If an exception is granted, Site Owners may be required to make the content on their University Web Properties available in an alternative format that is accessible.​

Consequences of Violating the Policy

The Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs and ADA/504 Coordinator, or designee, has the authority to remove any non-conforming University Web Property from the University’s network with prior notice and approval from the Provost and CIO, or their designees.

Ownership

Responsible University Employees:
Bridget Collier, Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA/504 Coordinator
Kevin Boyd, Chief Information Officer

Responsible Offices: Office of the Provost, Office of the CIO
Effective date: October 1, 2020
Last Updated: N/A

Definitions

Center for Digital Accessibility (“CDA”): The CDA shall provide training, guidance, and information on the Web Properties Management Standards and related best practices and will work with Site Owners and their technical partners to advise or augment their efforts towards adopting the Web Properties Management Standards. The CDA shall track and support web accessibility efforts throughout the University. It will establish and recommend a prioritization schedule for improving accessibility on existing University Web Properties. Priority shall be given to University Web Properties that are among the most highly utilized and to those that contain instructional materials.  

The Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs and ADA/504 Coordinator, or designee, will be responsible for: (1) providing periodic review of this Policy and its implementing procedures, with recommendations going to the Provost; (2) overseeing and informing the strategy of the CDA; (3) assessing and reporting to the Provost the University’s accessibility efforts as outlined in this Policy; (4) evaluating and deciding on requests for Policy exceptions; and (5) making decisions regarding the removal of any non-conforming University Web Property from the University’s network, with prior notice and approval from the Provost and CIO, or their designees.

Site Owner: An individual designated responsible for one or more University Web Property(s). Site Owners have primary responsibility for: (1) ensuring that the web properties for which they are responsible conform to this Policy; and (2) educating and training those who contribute to those sites on the requirements of this Policy and the tools and methods for conforming with it.

Web Properties Management Standards: Detailed instructions specifying how to satisfy the tenets of a policy. In this case, the Accessibility section of the Web Properties Management Standards.

University Web Property: Any website or web application delivered through a browser interface that is owned or controlled by the University or operated by or on behalf of the University.

    Contacts

    Questions regarding this Policy may be directed to:

    Elizabeth Honig
    Director, Office for Access and Equity
    773.702.4913

    Pat Kogos
    Director, Digital Accessibility
    773.702.4118