Providing Equal Access to Programs and Services for Individuals with Disabilities

AS-2801-07/AA/FA - May 10-11, 2007

ATTACHMENT TO AS-2801-07/AA/FA

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University endorse EO 926, the CSU Board of Trustees Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations, Coded Memoranda AA-2007-04, AS-2700-05, AS-2730-06, and ATACís Recommendation Policy for Academic Technology Infrastructure, Resources, and Practices to be Provided for Faculty, which articulates the intent and planning needed to ensure that electronic and information technology is accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that accessibility of electronic and information technology be as a shared responsibility that cuts across the campus, requiring institutional attention and commitment for its success. Such attention and commitment will require each University to facilitate the collaboration among faculty, disability resource centers, bookstores, academic and student services departments, academic technology and other institutional staff, and students with disabilities, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the CSU Chancellor’s Office and each campus support the design, redesign (as needed) and maintenance of accessible web-based services, which cover all aspects of academic, student and administrative affairs, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that each campus in consultation with their Senate develop policy, procedures and processes that will provide accessible textbooks and other instructional materials to students with disabilities at the same time that standard textbooks and other instructional materials become available for students without disabilities, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the CSU Chancellor’s Office in cooperation with each campus develop and implement procedures that ensure procurement of accessible electronic and information technology resources or alternative access in the event that such resources are not commercially available, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the CSU Chancellor’s Office develop a system-wide comprehensive collection of resources including a clearinghouse for identification of accessible materials in the areas of web-based services, instructional materials and electronic and information technology products, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the CSU Chancellor’s Office work with vendors to ensure that system-wide procurement and licensing of electronic and information technology products comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements, and be if further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that each University develop the infrastructure and the processes necessary to ensure that web-based services, instructional materials and electronic and information technology procurement are accessible and in compliance with Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the CSU Chancellor’s Office work with the campuses to identify the resources needed to ensure the success of the Accessible Technology Initiative and to include appropriate supplemental ATI funding in its annual budget request to the state, and be it further

RESOLVED: The Academic Senate of the California State University distribute this resolution to campus Senates and recommends that campus Senates consider a similar resolution in support of the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative which includes a commitment from faculty to work collaboratively through consultative processes to facilitate the work needed to achieve and maintain compliance with Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998.

RATIONALE: Excerpts from the memo (AA-2007-04) from Vice Chancellor’s Reichard and West to campus Presidents; dated February 9, 2007. “The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that qualified individuals with disabilities be provided equal access to programs, services, or activities. California Government Code 11135 applies Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, to State entities and to the CSU. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The CSU policy statement on accessibility was articulated in Executive Order 926, and the tasks and timelines described herein reflect implementation steps for EO 926.

Ensuring the accessibility of information technology and resources is a shared responsibility that cuts across the campus and will require ongoing, overall institutional attention and commitment for its success. One of the common requirements in each plan described in this memo is the identification of roles and responsibilities for each aspect of accessibility. Achieving accessibility will require collaboration among faculty, disability resource centers, bookstores, academic and student services departments, academic technology and other institutional staff, and students with disabilities.”

Recent experience with the Office of Civil Rights at a number of CSU campuses has reinforced the importance of timely provision of accessible materials to students with disabilities.

The work ahead requires compliance with the requirements for Web Accessibility, Instructional Materials Accessibility, and Accessible Electronic and Information Technology Procurement.

Web Accessibility.  Access to the Internet and its resources, including websites, web applications, and digital content, is considered an area where the ADA applies. The ubiquity of the Internet in delivering information and providing services is an essential reason to make its accessibility a priority for the CSU. Creating and maintaining accessible websites will be an ongoing institutional responsibility.

Instructional Materials Accessibility.  Instructional materials and online course materials also must be accessible to persons with disabilities in order to provide them with effective communication. Communication should be, to the extent possible, as effective for persons with disabilities as it is for persons without disabilities. An essential component of effective communication is timeliness of delivery of accessible formats. To the extent possible, instructional materials, including online course materials, must be accessible to students with disabilities at the same time it is available to any other student enrolled in that program.

Accessible Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) Procurement.  Section 508 includes a set of accessibility standards for six categories of electronic and information technology (E&IT) including web applications, hardware, software, telecommunications, multimedia, and self-contained closed products like copiers, fax machines, kiosks, etc. The CSU must incorporate Section 508 standards as it develops or acquires new E&IT resources.

Approved Unanimously - May 10-11, 2007


 
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