Below the University provides a list of priority actions that need to be completed in order to increase the overall accessibility level of its information materials and technologies. The University intends to make every reasonable effort to ensure that these tasks are complete by summer 2017. Oversight and accountability will be maintained by the Accessibility Task Force Advisory Committee.
Annual Review Process
Beginning in summer 2017, and proceeding every summer thereafter, as needed, the Accessibility Task Force Advisory Committee will provide an annual report which summarizes the status of all accessibility-related tasks undertaken by the University in the prior year. This report will also provide details regarding any ongoing efforts to improve accessibility, as well as planned improvements for the subsequent year. These reports will be made available online, when published, at the URL provided below.
Annual Accessibility Reports and Plans
1.1 Accessibility Policy and Procedures Statement
The University shall develop an Accessibility Policy for Information Materials and Technologies that communicates its commitment to accessibility in an official capacity, as well as a set of standard procedures to implement the accessibility policy across all disciplines and media formats. Once approved, the policy and procedures will be disseminated to all levels of University personnel and students, and will be made available on the University website.
1.2 Accessibility Audit and Corrective Action Plan
Having already completed an accessibility audit of websites, the University shall complete a similar audit of information materials and technologies related to admissions, scheduling, and instructional materials, which will examine the accessibility and usability of the resources provided by the University to students.
The University will then develop a corrective action strategy to address all inaccessible content and functionality identified during the audit, targeting high-priority areas of non-compliance first. This strategy will include specific dates for remediation.
The University will disseminate both the audit findings and the corrective action strategy to all levels of University personnel and students and will be made available on the University website.
1.3 Accessibility Training and Resources
The University will provide both instructor led and web delivered technology accessibility training to all appropriate personnel, including, but not limited to: content developers such as professors, staff, administrators; procurement officials; information technology professionals; and all others responsible for developing, loading, maintaining, or auditing online content and functionality. This training will be provided in stages as the University progresses through the action items outlined in this document.
The University will have training provided for staff members and student workers at the Information Technology Services Help Desk which will equip them to address the needs of individuals with disabilities using assistive technologies.
The University will proactively reach out to those instructors who will be teaching courses in which students with registered disabilities are enrolled in order to offer training and support related to the creation of accessible course content. This will allow the University to ensure during its transition to accessibility that it is meeting the needs of students with disabilities as quickly as possible.
By April 1st, 2016, the University will establish an Accessibility website which contains information regarding the ongoing work of the Accessibility Task Force Advisory Committee, as well as accessibility training resources for the employees and students of the University.
1.4 Accessibility Grievance Procedures
The University will establish a set of procedures whereby any individual may submit a complaint to the University’s Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity for any discovered inaccessible content (e.g. web content, document, course content, etc.). The University will disseminate information about these procedures to all levels of University personnel and students on a recurring basis, and will also make the procedures available on the University website.
1.5 Accessibility Coordinator Position
The University will seek to establish a new, full-time Accessibility Coordinator position to lead the Accessibility Task Force Advisory Committee and provide leadership and oversight regarding future work related to campus accessibility. A formal request for this position has been submitted to the University, and is pending approval.
1.6 Accessible Syllabus Template
By Fall 2016, the University will provide an accessible syllabus template for faculty to aid them in the development of new course syllabi and/or the remediation of existing, inaccessible syllabi.
1.7 Top 30 Course Corrective Action
In an effort to make significant progress toward compliance in the University’s top 30 courses, the Accessibility Task Force Advisory Committee will work with 10 faculty per year who teach one or more of these courses to provide them with training and support with the goal of making their course(s) fully compliant with accessibility standards.
2.1 Academic Sites
By fall 2016, all academic websites and webpages for the University will be WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformant.
2.2 Web Applications
By summer 2017, the University’s Information Systems division will develop and implement a WAI-ARIA compliant template for web-based applications.
2.3 Web Accessibility Policy Additions
Language will be added the University’s Web Accessibility Policy to state, in effect, that all new web pages, web content, and documents added to the University website must maintain WCAG Level 2.0 Level AA conformance. Responsibility will be placed on unit-level web administrators and department heads for ensuring compliance.
2.4 Electronic Web Governance Tool
The University will investigate a proposal to purchase an electronic web governance tool that will work in conjunction with the tools available within the content management system (CMS) and identify accessibility errors within documents stored on University web servers.
3.1 Accessible Procurement Procedures
The University’s Department of Procurement and Contract Services will begin to integrate the model of accessible adoption/procurement recommended by the Tennessee Board Regents Accessibility Initiative.
4.0 Electronic Media
4.1 Captions and Transcripts for Audio and Video Resources
In 2015 the University’s Office of Information Technology Services purchased DocSoft:AV, a web-based product which provides automatic speech-to-text captions and transcripts for audio and video files, greatly increasing the efficiency of the caption/transcript workflow over time. Due to the web-based nature of the product, and its allowance for several concurrent users, the University intends to provide access and training to this resource for content developers who need to create captions or transcripts in order to make their multimedia content accessible. This resource will be managed by an individual designated by the University’s Chief Information Officer, who will administrate the use of the product and ensure the availability of training resources.
5.0 Disability Services
5.1 Management Software
The University intends to investigate a proposal submitted by the Office of Disability Services for the purchase of a new Comprehensive Accommodation, Appointment, and Case Management Software. This software will, among other things, allow University staff who provide accessibility training to reach out to the instructors of courses which have students with disabilities enrolled, and will help them to meet the specific needs of those said students in a proactive manner.