Accessibility Guidelines for Electronic and Information Technology Access at Kutztown University of PA
Kutztown University is committed to achieving equal educational opportunity and participation for persons with disabilities. This commitment extends itself to providing equal access to information technology. It is the intent of the Kutztown University Guidelines for Electronic and Information Technology Access Task Force to promote equal access to university electronic information resources, technologies and services for students, employees, guests and visitors—including those with disabilities. The Kutztown University guidelines for accessibility in electronic and information technology encompass the following areas:
Environments specific to technology— including classroom and general use
computer facilities, on-line instruction,
distance learning, places of employment, and resource centers.
With regard to the above areas, Kutztown University of PA will strive to:
Use web site design standards that improve accessibility for all, including those with disabilities.
Why do we need guidelines for accessibility?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all employers and organizations receiving federal funds-including most universities to provide people with disabilities equal access to information, programs, services and activities.
The 1998 Amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act does not apply directly to universities, but it does mandate specific conditions for Internet and web accessibility that are used as guidelines in designing and creating federal agency web sites.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 applies the same general principle as Section 504—equal opportunity to participate in programs and services—but extends the reach to private organizations and any state or local entities not covered under Section 504.
Other laws, including Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Assistive Technology of 1998, may also impact web-based instruction, and how institutions may use federal monies.
PA Standards The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has chosen to follow Section 508 Web Accessibility Standards set forth by the Federal Government. As of June 30, 2001, all agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction were required to ensure web sites (both existing and in development) comply with the above accessibility guidelines.
2. It’s the Right Thing to Do Information technology provides access to as many people as possible. It is only right, then, that the university community adapt or remove barriers that keep some from gaining access.
Following standards, acquiring appropriate hardware and software, and improving the technical environment helps the University to:
v Improve access and services to students, staff, faculty and visitors with disabilities.
v Make electronic information accessible to the widest possible audience.
v Ensure that individuals have access to information technology associated with administration and services, courses of instruction, departmental programs and university sponsored activities.