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Web Content Accessibility

Information & Technology


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Definitions
  5. Related Information
  6. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102 et seq. authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees retain authority to approve, interpret, and administer policies pertaining to University governance. The Trustees grant authority to the President of MSU Denver to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

  2. Purpose: The University is committed to ensuring equal access to information and services for all its constituencies as outlined in the Metropolitan State University of Denver Accessibility Statement. This policy establishes standards for the accessibility of web-based information and services considered necessary to meet this goal and to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations. Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that the University’s programs, activities, and services, including those provided through the web, be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to all official web content and associated, web-based services developed by or for a college, school, department, program, or other unit of MSU Denver.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: President

  2. Responsible Administrator: Chief Equal Opportunity Officer

  3. Responsible Office: Equal Opportunity Office

  4. Policy Contact: Equal Opportunity Office, 303-615-0036

  5. The Office of Equal Opportunity is responsible for overseeing compliance with regard to state and federal regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require reasonable accommodation. Questions or concerns regarding compliance with this policy or standards, or complaints of discrimination, should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity.

  6. The Access Center serves as the primary contact and resource for students with disabilities, including equal access and assistive technologies.

  7. The Office of Human Resources serves as the primary contact and resource for faculty and staff with disabilities, including equal access and assistive technologies.

  8. The Office of Purchasing, Accounts Payable serves as the primary contact and resource for faculty and staff questions related to purchasing accessible technology-related systems and software.

  9. Each individual or unit responsible for web content must also know the policy and coordinate with the appropriate campus resources to provide accessible content. Responsible individuals and units must also monitor and evaluate their content regularly for accessibility.

  10. Additional contacts and resources can be found at Accessibility at MSU Denver.

III. Policy Statement

  1. New or Revised Content: All new or revised web-based content published or hosted by the University must be in compliance with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Section 508, subsections 1194.22 and 1194.31. A web page is considered to be revised when there is significant redesign of a page or a major revision of the content. As a way to provide achievable, well documented guidelines for implementation, all new and revised web content published by any school, department, program, or unit of Metropolitan State University of Denver on or after the effective date of this policy must conform to World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) Level AA.

  2. Legacy Content: All legacy web content published prior to the effective date of this policy must conform to these accessibility standards within the timeframe determined by the University. Progress toward achieving and maintaining fully accessible web content must be documented on annual status reports from the Office of Equal Opportunity in collaboration with the appropriate areas of the institution.

  3. Web Content and Associated Services: This policy applies to all official web content and associated web-based services developed by or for a college, school, department, program, or other unit of Metropolitan State University of Denver. Nothing in this policy is intended to prevent the use of designs or technologies as alternatives to those prescribed in the standards, provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater access to and use of a website by individuals with disabilities.

  4. Alternative Programs and Services: MSU Denver is committed to providing alternative programs and services related to web content for qualified individuals with disabilities when the alternatives are necessary to make the programs and services equally as effective as those provided to other users.

IV. Definitions

  1. Archive Website or Page: A Website or page no longer in use but subject to records retention plans.

  2. Legacy Web Page: A Web page published prior to the effective date of this policy.

  3. Revised Web Page: A web page that has been altered or updated through visual design or significant content additions, subtractions, or modifications after the effective date of this policy.

  4. W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. The main international standards group for website design.

  5. WCAG: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 1.0 published in 1999, version 2.0 published in 2008. WCAG is a working group of the W3C that focuses specifically on accessibility standards creation. WCAG is a widely accepted and commonly used standard.

  6. Web Content: Information or learning materials published to a website or webpage.

  7. Web Page: A single internet address (aka, URL) that contains content that must be viewed through a web browser. Usually, multiple web pages are linked to define a website.

  8. Website: A group of connected web pages regarded as a single entity, or several closely related topics, such as a college, department, or office website. A website usually consists of a home page.

  9. Web Content Management System (WCMS): A WCMS is software that stores and organizes content and information about how it can be used and presented. A WCMS integrates and centralizes tools and mechanisms for accessing, editing, and publishing information to the web.

V. Related Information

  1. Accessibility Initiative, Accessibility at MSU Denver
  2. Accommodations for Employees and Applicants with Disabilities Policy
  3. US American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III
  4. US Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)

VI. Policy History

  1. Effective: January 1, 2013

  2. Approved by: President

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