College and University Guidelines, Policies, Processes, and Resources on Web Accessibility
This page lists the information the Johns Hopkins Web Accessibility Committee has collected about the web accessibility initiatives of other institutions, including the activities of the COFHE schools and the policies of other institutions.
A similar resource is the Known Campus Statements On Web Accessibility, a collection of policy statements compiled by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh that includes some COFHE schools. WebAIM, Web Accessibility in Mind, also maintains a list of web accessibility policies in postsecondary institutions.
COFHE Schools (Consortium on Financing Higher Education)
Amherst | Barnard | Brown * | Bryn Mawr | Carleton | Columbia * | Cornell | Dartmouth * | Duke | Georgetown | Harvard * | Johns Hopkins | MIT | Mount Holyoke | Northwestern | Oberlin | Pomona | Princeton | Rice | Smith | Stanford * | Swarthmore | Trinity (Conn.) | U Chicago | U Penn | U Rochester | Washington U | Wellesley | Wesleyan | Yale
* Denotes Ivy Access Initiative participants. Of the COFHE schools, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Stanford joined together in a Universal Design Consortium. The purpose of the initiative was to create a model for implementing Universal Instructional Design. The Ivy Access Initiative web site also discusses Accessible Web Design and Adaptive Technology. The grant-funded activities concluded in September 2003.
Amherst lists Accessibility Features and Issues on the Amherst College Website. The page states:
Over the 2001-2002 academic year, a focus group studied Web accessibility issues and tested the Amherst site in various screen-readers. The main pages of the site were made more accessible. To address accessibility issues on pages deeper down in the site, the Web designer is working with departments and groups throughout the college, and the Information Technology department is providing training to help people make their pages more accessible.
Amherst employs a Director of Electronic Communications/Web Designer: Willa Jarnagin. Her website, Willa's Web Design Central> Make Your Website Accessible, provides useful information and resources on web accessibility.
The Amherst College Library lists ADA Accessibility measures. Web accessibility measure for the site are not mentioned.
- Barnard College
The links page for Aids/Equipments/Technology/Computers provides links to various web accessibility and adaptive technology resources.
No web accessibility policy is posted on Barnard's website.
Universal Design Consortium Member School
Brown University's Disability Support Services coordinates services for students with disabilities. The website lists the services by type of disability, as well as listing housing accommodations and a shuttle service.
Brown Web sites must be in compliance with the ADA and use features that make Web pages accessible to disabled users. Information providers should consult the resources made available by the Web Accessibility Initiative.
Brown's Web Publishing Central has a resource on Web Accessibility. It references a service they provide called Betsie, which is a filter that automatically generates a text-only version of a web page.
The Bryn Mawr Administrative Services lists information on the College's Access Services. The Links for Faculty page on the Access Services site include sections on universal design for instruction, creating accessible web-based information, and legal information.
The Web Site Policy on Bryn Mawr's Computing Services web site states that
The College is committed to ensuring that its Web site is accessible to people with disabilities,but it does not elaborate on how to make a Web site accessible. Bryn Mawr's Computing Services has a Web Development Department that mentions web accessibility, but the departmental page does not describe their practices.
- Carleton College
The Disability Services for Students page provides faculty with a brief explanation of disability services and refers them to the Coordinator of Academic Accommodations.
Carleton College's Web Services Group, which creates web sites for Carleton's offices, departments, and organizations, offers accessibility planning and review services.
Carleton College's Web Working Group has posted Carleton's official World Wide Web Policy online. Accessibility, when addressed in the document, is concerned primarily with browser compatibility. The policy states an adherence to HTML 2.0 and requires the use of ALT tags to provide textual replacements for images.
- Columbia University
Columbia University participated in the Ivy Access Initiative, a grant-funded project that concluded in September 2003.
Columbia University Office of Disability Services provides information about services for students with physical or learning disabilities.
The Columbia Academic Information Systems (AcIS) Computer Labs and Clusters provide accessible furniture for those with mobility or repetitive-stress injuries and adaptive technology for those with hearing, visual or learning disabilities.
The Columbia Libraries and Academic Computing offer Services to Persons with Disabilities.
The Cornell Student Disability Services website provides information about various services. The Accomodations page lists available Adaptive Technologies, which include Dragon Naturally Speaking, Arkenstone Reader (Ruby Version), Zoom Text Extra, JAWS, Reading Edge Reading Machine, Romeo Braille Printer, and TIGER advantage Tactile Graphics and Braille Embosser.
The Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Access For All Program on Employment and Disability provides information for Employers, Human Resources personnel and others interested in increasing their business' capacity to accommodate people with disabilies. The web site also lists assistive technology resources.
An Astronomy website at Cornell has posted an information page about Site Design and Accessibility.
No global web accessibility policy is posted.
- Dartmouth College
Universal Design Consortium Member School
Disability Information is available online. Dartmouth has established a Section 504/ADA Committee to ensure its compliance with regulations.
Access Dartmouth is the Web Accessibility website for Dartmouth College. The Web Access Group is a cross-institutional group with representatives from policy-making and publishing divisions on campus. The group's charge is to take steps to ensure that Dartmouth's Web is accessible to people with disabilities.
The Access Project team is composed of the Student Disabilities Coordinator and representatives from Computing Services. This project team has published the Access Project Proposal, which is very detailed and comprehensive. The Proposal is a model for other institutions.
The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is also online. This site lists Other Support Services for Students Registered with OSSD. The assistive technology available at Duke's Academic Resource Center includes: assistive listening devices, Kurzweil 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Zoom Text.
The Arts and Sciences Universal Web Site Guidelines are available online. The web accessibility guidelines are based on W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
- Georgetown University
The Georgetown GUide Committee provides leadership regarding the Web and related technologies at Georgetown University.
Georgetown's minimum standards, core recommendations, and extended recommendations for institutional websites are presented on the technology page of the GUide Committee's online Web Style Manual.
- Harvard University
Universal Design Consortium Member School
The Harvard College Library offers information on Services for Persons with Disabilities.
An article in the Harvard University Gazette announced the workshops held in 2001 for Harvard's Webmasters to learn about accessibility. Harvard had a web accessibility standards web site, but it seems to have been removed.
- Johns Hopkins
The Web Development Guidelines Subcommittee of the Institutional Computing Standards Committee has included a page on Section 508 in the Web Development Guidelines.
The Web Accessibility Committee recently hosted a Web Accessibility Mini-Conference, and a web site of accessibility resources is now available.
Institute of Technology
MIT has an online Disabilities Services Office.
MIT is committed to providing equal access to information technology in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This commitment ensures that MIT Web-based products, software, online documentation, and library resources will be accessible to users with disabilities. Developers and purchasers need to take accessibility features into account in the design or purchase process using checklists shown below. The checklists apply to software and web based products to be used in administration and services, courses of instruction, departmental programs and Institute sponsored activities.
MIT's Adaptive Technology for Information and Computing (ATIC) Lab provides a variety of Adaptive Technology Tools.
This site includes MIT's Web and Software Accessibility Policies and Guidelines. This page contains links to the developer checklist, web products checklist, software purchase checklist, and web accessibility guidelines.
MIT points to a side-by-side comparison of the Section 508 Standards and the Priority 1 checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
MIT's Academic Web Page Creation Guide addresses Accessibility and Legal Issues. Note: The Web Guide is no longer being maintained, now that MIT is using the Stellar Course Management System.
MIT's Office of Academic Services provides a Web Writer's Toolkit with a page of accessibility guidelines.
- Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke has a Disability Services office online. A Kurzweil Reading Machine located at UMass is available for student access.
The Office of Curriculum Support and Instructional Technology provides a site on Adaptive Technology and Higher Education. This page is primarily a resource site, and does not contain policy or specific guidelines for Mt. Holyoke.
- Northwestern University
Northwestern's Department of University Relations Office of Web Communications, among its other functions, provides guidance and/or assistance in creating University Web pages. The office oversees the Web Steering Committee.
The Northwestern University Web Communications Standards include Accessibility Recommendations.
Services for Students with Disabilities: The office of Student Academic Services coordinates services to students with disabilities, working with faculty and administration, to meet students' needs and ensure compliance with federal ADA guidelines.
Library Accessibility Information: Library staff will attempt to accommodate the special needs of its users who identify themselves as disabled, differently abled, or specially challenged and will provide assistance that overcomes barriers to accomplishing tasks in the Library that most users can do for themselves. Such users are responsible for notifying the library staff of their special needs and are encouraged to do so, in order to allow us to better accommodate these needs.
Found nothing specific on web access or committee.
Oberlin Online is a web design resource center for Oberlin College. It provides an Oberlin College Standards page and Guidelines for Academic Departmental Design. The page Accessibility for Oberlin Online provides information on making websites accessible.
The Office of Communications develops and supports Websites for the College's administrative departments and a growing number of academic departments. Our goal is to present a consistent, comprehensive and high-quality Web experience for both external and internal users.
- Princeton University
The only new documentation of Web accessibility or Web standards that was found is a Power Point Presentation simply titled Web Design. It has just a couple of slides with detailed notes about accessibility.
Princeton's OIT Academic Services web site has an accessibility statement. The statement describes the site's compliance with accessibility guidelines and provides links to a number of resources for making web sites accessible. Academic Services' accessibility statement is still available, last modified May 2004.
Princeton has a Web Strategy Task Force which posts meeting minutes and other documents online. It has five working groups: Outreach and Assessment; Policy; Design and Standards; Home Page; and Transactions. Info on Web Strategy Task Force still available, but not modified since July 2001.
The Policy Task Force supplies a draft of a Values and Policies document (.doc format). The draft states the intent to legal standards (including accessibility requirements), and to require that each course, academic department/program, and administrative office maintain a website that meets certain standards and to provide the means to meet these standards. (This draft does not specify standards.) Draft of the Value and Policies Document still available, but not updated since July 2001. No new documents available from this work group.
The Design and Standards Task Force provides a draft of its Final Recommendations (.doc format). The Primary Recommendation is to Create a Web Page Registry to index all "official" Princeton University pages; the Secondary Recommendation is to Create a Web Page Typology; other Global Recommendation are included. The example typology provided identifies Type A pages as web pages for the world (pages accessible by the public) such as the Princeton Home Page. Specific recommendations for Type A pages are: 1) Compliance with conformance level A of the WAI standards, 2) Coding in HTML 4.0, 3) No use of plugins or any other objects requiring separate downloads, 4) Some kind of server specifications---e.g., that the server which hosts the page be on a UPS. Draft of the Value and Policies Document still available, but not updated since July 2001. No new documents available from this work group.
Princeton's Library system web site does not provide any information about accessibility policy or services for patrons with disabilities. However, the website does fall under Official University Websites, and would be required to adhere to the Web Strategy Force policies. I couldn't find any information about accessibility of the library Web site.
The online Rice Disability Support Services has a page providing basic information about accessibility issues in Web Design, but no mandatory policy. The Web Design page does state that
The federal government and the state of Texas now require official sites to be designed in such a way as to ensure accessibility by all viewers.The Campus Access page lists the services provided, including wheelchair accessible buildings and technologies, and an adaptive technology workstation.
This workstation is located in the Fondren Library. Available equipment includes a computer with image enlarging software, voice-input software, an OPTELEC closed circuit TV, and a Kurzweil 3000 scan and read system.
In October 2004, Disability Support Services, the Fondren Library, and Public Affairs co-sponsored an Accessibility Internet Rally. According to Rice's division of Information Technology, the rally's purpose was to
promote awareness and offer education regarding web accessibility by disabled individuals.
Rice's School of Continuing Studies offers a six-hour course, Introduction to Website Accessibility.
Smith has an online Office of Disability Services. The Disability Services Policy page does not mention web accessibility. The Office of Disability Services still does not mention access to the Web or technology.
The Smith ITS Adaptive Technology Lab is located in the Neilson Library. The Library Disabilities Services also lists accommodations for wheelchair access, TDD, and off-campus access to databases. The adaptive technology lab is still available along with other services.
The Smith College Resources for Web Developers site lists the school's World Wide Web Policy, which does not specifically mention accessibility issues. The Design Guidelines section and the Accessibility page offer suggestions for making pages usable and accessible. Doing a search for
web accessibilitybrought up the
Accessibility Guidelines and Recommendationspage in the Resources for Web Development site. This page provides suggestions, but not policy. There is another page titled
World Wide Web Policywhich outlines their Web policies, but does not include any mention of Web accessibility. It looks like none of this has changed much.
- Stanford University
Stanford has a Web site dedicated to Web accessibility, Web Accessibility Best Practice. The site includes the following sub-sections: Stanford and Web Accessibility, Core Concepts, How-To Guide, Tools and Training, and contact which offers sources for additional information and help at Stanford. It is well written and organized. I did not see anything presented as
policy.They appear to be presenting guidelines, but the site emphasizes that accessible Web sites are required by law.
I also found numerous references to Web accessibility on the Computing and IT Web sites. In most cases these references contained a link to the Web development page listed above. One particularly good reference is the article titled The Hidden Benefits of Accessible Web pages.
The Office of Judicial Affairs also provides information on developing accessible interfaces. The page, Interface Design, covers both the why and the how of Web accessibility.
Universal Design Consortium Member School
Stanford has a Disability Resource Center, which is changing its name to the Office of Accessible Education. The Disability Resource Center provides links to Assistive Technology Resources and Services. These resources and services include an Assistive Learning Technology Center and an Alternative Format Production Facility. Though this office appears to have changed its name, the site does not include the new name and probably hasn't been updated since it was last checked.
The web-creators group at Stanford has posted a page: Making Web Pages Accessible with rationale for accessibility, guidelines, and resources. There is no campus wide policy requiring that these guidelines be followed, but the page does ask if Stanford should adopt a policy requiring all administrative and academic materials that are e-distributed be accessible. This page is still available, but has not been updated since September 2001.
The Stanford University Library System User Services has a Services for Users with Disabilities page which lists accommodations and services. This page still exists and was last updated June 23, 2005.
- Swarthmore College
No updates since July 2002.
The Swarthmore Office of the Deans Student Life page for Students with Disabilities provides contact information for the Dean in charge of providing accomodations and a link to Guidelines for Accessing Accommodations, a page describing Swarthmore policy on Students with Disabilities.
The Equal Opportunity Office's page for Student Disability Support Services provides only the name, office, and phone number for the Coordinator of Support Services for Students with Disabilities.
The Information Technology Services page on Disability Assistance states only the intent to "provide support and advice for students with disabilities." and instructs the reader to call a number for assistance.
The library website does not list web accessibility policy or information for patrons with disabilities.
- Trinity College (Conn.)
The Disability Services of Trinity College's Dean of Students Office page has a list of suggested web design guidelines (From World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design, DO-IT, a University of Washington site. The link to this site is broken.) These are merely guidelines and not policy.
This site offers further explanation of the ADA Policy & Definitions as well as a rather in depth overview of Trinity's Policy, Services, and procedures for students with disabilities. They also provide flowchart for accommodation and a faculty guide to accommodating students with disabilities.
The resources section provides a link to A.H.E.A.D. but the link to Do-It is broken.
The Trinity College Computing Center provides a page with Some Ways to Make Your Site Accessible (suggestions only), and a list of links to accessibility resources, inlcuding links to W3C and WAI.
The library web site discusses services for patrons with disabilities, but does not mention web accessibility.
- University of Chicago
Disabilities Services are addressed in the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University.
The University does not have a comprehensive program oriented wholly towards educating students with disabilities, but strives to be supportive of the academic, personal, and work-related needs of each individual and is committed to helping those with disabilities become full participants in the life of the University.
Students with disabilities should contact their area dean of students and the Associate Dean of Students in the University.
University of Chicago Web Access Initiative
The University of Chicago web design standards page says that web design standards at U Chicago are flexible. They offer web templates but apparently don't require their use. Their web resources page offers a list of online resources that includes links to the W3C and WAI.
U Chicago's Divisions seem to have come up with their own approaches. The Division of Biological Sciences has a guide, Getting Started with Accessibility and Universal Design. The guide is basically an annotated list of links to resources including accessibility guidelines, how-to sites, validation tools, user agents, policies, and miscellaneous resources. Some of the validators they offer look quite interesting (WAVE, Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer).
The Humanities division had a web guide that included minimum standards, main audiences, suggestions for creation and maintenance, and a page on accessibility that briefly describes Section 508 and offers simplified techniques adapted from the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. However, this web guide does not appear to be available anymore.
The library website does not list a web accessibility policy or information for patrons with disabilities.
The University of Pennsylvania's Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs web site does not address web accessibility.
Penn has a Web Style Guide with a brief statement on accessibility and links to accessibility resources.
- University of Rochester
The web site of the Rochester libraries does not address web accessibility or services for persons with disabilities, but Access Rochester, a university site on disability resources includes a page listing equipment that the libraries have on hand for patrons with vision or hearing impairments.
The Access Rochester page provides a lot of information about disability services available at Rochester, i.e. Library Services (including specialized equipment), Guidelines for Faculty, and other University resources, i.e. awareness resources, braille resources, assistive devices, etc.
The University of Rochester Medical Center's web-based courseware application, Prometheus, claims to be compliant with level-one accessibility guidelines. The link for Prometheus is broken.
Washington University has an online Disability Resource Center. This site includes a list of assistive technologies available to students. It does not talk about web accessibility.
The university's publication style guide has an appendix for web site development. It includes one paragraph encouraging developers to "Strive to comply with full accessibility guidelines," and references to the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and Bobby.
Washington University's library has a page on services for disabled library users that mentions wheelchair accessibility and a Kurzweil Reading Machine.
- Wellesley College
Wellesley College is private. Wellesley College has a Campus Wide Information System handbook that contains a link for content providers to their guidelines on Designing For Accessibility. The handbook contains an extensive listing of accessibility links, e.g., for Section 508, W3C, Bobby, Vischeck, for more specific information.
The Wellesley policy statement on disability is found on the Disability Services at Wellesley College page as a Guide.
- Wesleyan University
The Wesleyan Web site does not contain a policy statement on web accessibility. The page containing an Overview of Wesleyan's Web Services mentions accessibility in the links describing the various types of web sites, technologies and services on offered on campus. One of these is a link to their Usability Lab, but no separate, distinct, emphasis is placed on accessibility, Section 508, etc.
Yale's Web site does not contain an accessibility statement. Under Information Technology Services, Academic Media and Technology, is a page on Designing Accessible Web Pages for the Yale Web Space. The page directs the visitor to more detailed information regarding guidelines and resources.
The Yale Dramatic Association web site offers an Accessibility Statement.
In a document on Services for Persons with Disabilities, the Yale University Library includes a policy and guidelines for web accessibility.
- California State
California State University, Long Beach, has a Web Accessibility Policy.
- Howard University
Howard University has a Web Accessibility Policy (Draft).
- Ohio State
The Ohio State University has a Web Accessibility Policy.
- University of
The University of Bristol has a Web Accessibility Policy Statement.
- University of
The Web Communications service of the University of Colorado at Boulder offers a guide called Creating Accessible Web Pages. Web Communications also lists the Web Publishing Policy of the University of Colorado at Boulder, which includes a paragraph requiring "all electronic publications" to be made accessible.
- University of Hawaii
- University of Iowa
The University of Iowa has an Accessibility Policy for Web Resources.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Texas
Health Science Center at San Antonio
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has a Web Accessibility Policy.
- University of
The Adaptive Technology Resource Center is located at the University of Toronto.
- University of
Access IT, the National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education, is located at the University of Washington.
- University of Wisconsin
- Washington State
Washington State University's Executive Policy Manual contains a University Web Accessibility Policy.
Washington State University's Web Accessibility Strategies encourage compliance with the W3C checkpoints.
- Worcester Polytechnic
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has a Web Accessibility Policy.