By Ellen Meltzer, Representing the UC Libraries on the UC Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team (EALT)
You may have learned at your campuses that, as one of his last official acts, UC President Mark Yudof adopted a University of California Policy on Information Technology Accessibility, effective August 27, 2013. Prior to its enactment, the policy was reviewed by various UC services and unanimously endorsed by the UC Academic Council (systemwide faculty senate). The policy is applicable to all UC locations and to all members of the University of California community.
Addendum A of the policy covers these information technology accessibility requirements: authority and responsibility, audience, prioritization, design process, procurement, training, awareness campaign, compliance monitoring, evaluation and exception process.
What does this mean for the UC libraries?
The policy states that, “Electronic information must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at level AA Success Criteria.” More information about these standards can be found on the WC3 website. The emphasis on adopting the standards is on new development and accessible IT purchases rather than on retrofitting existing electronic resources.
UC Library websites are reviewed annually (along with nine other service websites on each campus) to ensure that our websites are accessible to all users. To facilitate the testing of our websites at any time, everyone in UC (including students) has free access to the Accessibility Management Platform (AMP)Tool, which identifies accessibility problems and offers solutions. This site also has training materials.
To ensure that web developers are equipped for accessible design, two asynchronous 70-minute training sessions from Simply Accessible, an accessibility company, will be available in early 2014. The sessions can be reviewed as many times as users desire. Further details will be forthcoming.
Additional information about an array of accessibility issues can be found on UCOP’s Electronic Accessibility website.