Web and Technology Accessibility Policy

Mid Michigan College is committed to provide equal opportunity and accessibility to its educational and administrative services, programs, and activities. This includes assuring that our web, online learning materials, and electronic information technologies are informative, educational, and accessible to everyone. It is critical that we provide transparency and equality in our opportunities regardless of situation or disability. Adapting accessible design in web, online instructional materials, and electronic information technologies can minimize information barriers that impede the success of our entire campus community. To this intent, Mid works to broaden accessibility and adaptability in our online learning materials, website, and electronic information technology that can be measured against the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disability Act of 1991, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), to determine and ensure accessible design.

Mid reaffirms its commitment to accessible design through the Accessibility Policy stated below and through the formation of its Web and Electronic Information Accessibility Task Force. These endeavors are intended to help cultivate continuous improvements to accessibility in our web, online learning, and electronic information technology. Efforts focus on addressing areas of non-compliance, establishing time frames for corrective action, and providing a centralized area for education, training, guidance, and compliance support.

Policy Statement

To ensure that web, online learning, and electronic information technology is accessible to all members of the College community including students, prospective students, employees, guests, and visitors (particularly those with visual, hearing, or manual impairments or who otherwise require the use of assistive technology to access information), Mid Michigan College will follow the accessibility standards set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disability Act of 1991, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 levels A and AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Further, these standards shall be used to measure the accessibility of all web and electronic information technology purchased, developed, maintained, or utilized by the College in its educational and employment activities.

This ensures that all students, faculty, staff, applicants, and members of the public with disabilities have equal opportunity to access and utilize informational materials, technologies, and technology-related services, except when doing so would impose an undue burden on the College or require a fundamental alteration.

Scope

This Policy applies to all web materials and content for Mid including but not limited to services, administration, course instruction, online learning, departmental programs and activities, web resources, and all electronic informational technology that is purchased, developed, maintained, or utilized by the College.

Web and Electronic Information Technology Task Force

The Web and Electronic Information Technology Task Force was created to help develop and manage this Policy and operates under the direction of the President. The Task Force is comprised of members of Mid staff members including the President, Associate Vice President/Chief Information Officer, Associate Vice President of Security Operations & Systems, Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications, Director of Programming Innovation, Associate Dean of Online Learning, Director of Security Operations & Systems, as well as full-time faculty from various disciplines. The Task Force, with the support of the President, has appointed an Accessibility and Online Learning Coordinator and two Deputy Coordinators. These individuals are charged with implementation of this Policy and commitments relating to accessibility. The Task Force will ensure that these individuals receive sufficient resources and authority required for coordination, training, and implementation.

Accessibility coordinators

Anthony Freds

Chief Information and Organizational Development Officer

Web and Online Learning Accessibility Coordinator

1375 S. Clare Ave, Harrison, MI 48625 Room 128

2600 S. Summerton Ave., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 172

(989) 386-6622 x102

(989) 317-4602

afreds@midmich.edu


Brandon Kish

Director of Programming Innovation

Web Accessibility Deputy Coordinator

2600 S. Summerton Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 172

(989) 386-6622 x104

(989) 317-4616

bkish@midmich.edu


Shaelynn Long-Kish

Associate Dean of Online Learning

Online Learning Deputy Coordinator

2600 S. Summerton Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 267

(989) 386-6622 x165

smlong@midmich.edu

ACCESSIBILITY ADOPTION AND TRAINING

The accessible standards outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 should be adopted at levels A and AA by all areas of the College as soon as feasible within the normal parameters of College operations and within the time frames set in future Corrective Action Plans. Failure to adopt such standards exposes the College to potential legal liabilities, creates communication barriers to external audiences, and would diminish the College’s efforts in providing equal opportunity to its educational and administrative services, programs, and activities. To help facilitate adoption campus wide, the College will provide instructor-led and web-delivered technology accessibility training. This training will be facilitated, entirely or in part, by individuals such as the College’s Web and Online Learning Accessibility Coordinator and Deputies who have sufficient knowledge, skill, and experience to understand and employ the technical standards adopted by this Policy.

Training will be provided to all pertinent personnel (e.g. content developers such as faculty, staff, administrators, student employees, and information technology personnel) responsible for developing, loading, maintaining, or auditing web and online content and functionality. Training will focus on, but not be limited to, information on this Policy, the technical standards adopted, and each person’s role and responsibility in ensuring that web design, online course content, multimedia videos, documents, and technology is accessible to students, employees, guests, and visitors. Training will be ongoing and provided in stages as the College continues to work through implementation of the Policy, conducts audits, and continues to broaden accessible design in our web and information technologies.

Future training will extend to staff members and student workers at the Technology Services Helpdesk, which will equip them to address the needs of individuals using assistive technologies. The College further intends to proactively reach out to subsets of faculty that teach high demand classroom courses in order to offer training and support related to the creation of accessible course content. Training sessions will also be made available at Faculty Welcome Back Day and at Professional Development.

To ensure that all members of the campus community have the most up to date information and resources to help facilitate the College’s transition to improved accessibility, through the adoption of the WCAG 2.0 levels A and AA, the College has established a website which contains information regarding the ongoing work of the Coordinators and Task Force, policies, training resources, videos/materials, as well as information on how to report accessibility barriers.

WEB CONTENT

The Mid website is the most substantial communication tool that the College possesses. Hundreds of pages must be managed and in conformity to the accessibility standards adopted by this Policy. This task is the responsibility of all College employees. The Strategic Communications team is charged with facilitating the implementation to ensure that all content placed on the web is accessible to everyone. To this end, the Team will conduct annual web audits, which will encompass every page of the College’s website. Upon implementation of this Policy, all content (new and old) will be measured against the standards adopted by this Policy. Initially, any new content will be reviewed by Strategic Communications to ensure that it is accessible and conforms to the standards adopted prior to publication.

Next, old content will undergo a web audit and content that does not conform will be fixed. Additionally, and moving forward yearly audits of the College’s web pages will be conducted. Content accuracy shall be ensured by the appropriate departmental or academic employee(s). Content and any other recommended changes will be implemented by the Strategic Communications team. Prior to the final approval of each page, the Strategic Communications team members will use a digital accessibility checker to verify that accessibility standards are met. Should a page not meet accessibility standards as defined by this Policy, the Page will be revised prior to publication.

Anyone with access to edit pages of the College website will undergo appropriate training to ensure that they understand accessibility standards adopted by this Policy, how to check for digital accessibility barriers, and how to update web pages in alignment with accessibility guidelines.

PROCUREMENT

Upon implementation of this Policy, newly purchased and established contracts up for renewal relating to electronic technology, software, or hardware procured by the College and used by its community shall conform to the relevant technical accessibility standard adopted, as long as the technology is commercially available and its purchase does not result in undue financial and administrative burdens or fundamental alterations. If a product is available, but does not meet all of the relevant accessibility provisions of WCAG 2.0 levels A and AA, Mid Michigan College will procure the product that closest meets the standards unless an exception has been granted or the purchase would result in undue financial and administrative burdens or a fundamental alteration. In specific situations where compliance is not possible, carefully defined exceptions to accessible procurement may be granted by the Web and Online Accessibility Coordinator.

The College will establish and implement a process to ensure that electronic technology, software, and hardware purchased by the College is accessible. This will include:

  • Language in all technology contracts shall necessitate contractors to comply with the technical standards adopted by the College in this Policy; to promptly respond and resolve accessibility complaints; and hold the College harmless in the event of claims arising from inaccessibility.
  • Contractors may also be required to provide accessibility testing results and written documentation verifying product accessibility, such as providing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT.
  • A means to determine whether any provision of the College’s electronic technology, software, or hardware would result in undue financial hardship, administrative burdens, or a fundamental alteration.
  • A process for requesting and granting/denying an exception.
  • Criteria for equally effective acquisitions of technology access that are approved for exception.

COMMUNICATION OF CURRENT AND FUTURE STATE

Our intent is to build a culture of awareness and support that will accomplish the tasks outlined in this Policy. This will ensure that Web, online learning materials, and electronic information technologies are informative, educational, and accessible to everyone. To assist with this endeavor, the College has created an accessibility website. Notice of this Policy and the accessibility website will be emailed to all faculty and staff. The email will include information regarding the newly adopted Accessibility Policy, the technical standards that should be adopted, available community resources on the website, and guidelines to report accessibility barriers. Further, on the College’s homepage information will be provided and/or linked to the accessibility website that will instructor individuals that incur an accessibility barrier on how to report and request that content and/or functionality be made accessible or provide equally effective alternate access.

REPORTING ACCESSIBILITY BARRIERS

When accessibility barriers are discovered, individuals are encouraged to file an Accessibility Barrier Report. To make reporting of inaccessible web content easier, the Strategic Communications Team has placed a link at the bottom of each web page that routes to the Report form. The College understands that despite continuous efforts, barriers to accessibility can emerge and can only be redressed when brought to the proper College Officials’ attention. Reported barriers will be routed to the proper College Official. Typically, the issue will be addressed within three (3) business days of submission of the report. If remediation cannot be accomplished within this time frame, the College will notify the Reporter on the status of the remediation, time frame that is anticipated for completion, and discuss options for equally effective alternate access. For general questions regarding identified barriers, individuals may email ada@midmich.edu.

FILING A FORMAL GRIEVANCE

Mid has adopted internal grievance procedures which provide a venue for a prompt, equitable, and impartial resolution of grievances alleging any action prohibited by the Americans with Disability Act of 1991, Section 504 or 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These procedures apply to complaints of inaccessibility or discrimination/harassment on the basis of disability. They pertain to all members of the campus community including students, faculty, staff, employment and admission applicants, vendors, contractors, and third parties. A formal grievance may be filed using the online ADA Grievance Form. Additional information regarding Mid’s ADA/Section 504 Policy Statement and Grievance Procedures is also available.

Campus Points of Contact

Individuals with questions about this Policy or about online learning content, web, or electronic information technology, should contact one of the Web and Online Learning Coordinators listed below.

Anthony Freds

Chief Information & Organizational Development Officer

Web and Online Learning Accessibility Coordinator

1375 S. Clare Ave, Harrison, MI 48625 Room 128

2600 S. Summerton Ave., Mount Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 172

(989) 386-6622 x102 or (989) 317-4602

afreds@midmich.edu

Brandon Kish

Director of Programming Innovation

Web Accessibility Deputy Coordinator

2600 S. Summerton Rd., Mount Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 172

(989) 386-6622 x104 or (989) 317-4616

bkish@midmich.edu

Shaelynn Long-Kish

Associate Dean of Online Learning

Online Learning Deputy Coordinator

2600 S. Summerton Rd., Mount Pleasant, MI 48858 Room 267

(989) 386-6622 x165

smlong@midmich.edu

Individuals with questions or concerns regarding general accommodations or facilities barriers should contact one of the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinators list below.

Martricia M. Farrell

Director Security Operations & Systems

ADA/Section 504 Coordinator-Students

1375 S. Clare Ave., Harrison, MI 48625

2600 S. Summerton, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

(989) 386- 6622 x394

mfarrell@midmich.edu

Lori Fassett

Associate Vice President Personnel Services

ADA/Section 504 Coordinator-Faculty and Staff

1375 S. Clare Ave., Harrison, MI 48625

2600 S. Summerton, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

(989) 386- 6622 x692

lfassett1@midmich.edu

Kim Barnes

Associate Vice President Security Operations & Systems

ADA/Section 504 Coordinator – Facilities and Grounds

1375 S. Clare Ave., Harrison, MI 48625

2600 S. Summerton, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

(989) 386- 6622 x236

kbarnes@midmich.edu

To obtain a paper copy of this or any Mid Policy, email sos@midmich.edu.

 
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