UC Systemwide Electronic Accessibility Efforts

The systemwide UC Information Technology Accessibility Policy has been approved and is effective as of August 27, 2013. The policy promotes and supports an accessible IT environment within the University. By supporting IT accessibility, the University helps ensure that as broad a population as possible is able to access, benefit from, and contribute to its electronic programs and services.

The Electronic Accessibility Leadership Team will continue to develop initiatives to promote the Policy and foster communication between the campuses and UCOP. Each campus has at least one representative participating in the EALT. Under the Policy, each campus or other UC location is charged with developing an implementation plan. This process is now underway.

For reference, this is the official Policy document .

The Problem

Persons with disabilities (visual, auditory, motor or cognitive impairments) often use adaptive hardware or software to access computers and other sources of electronic information. The way the electronic data is created, coded and presented can make it impossible for adaptive technology to interpret.

Governmental Response

In 2001, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act created standards for Federal agencies and contractors, defining 16 parameters for accessible software and Web design. The text of the Section 508 rules can be found under “Section 508 Law” at www.section508.gov . The documents are under review, with possible revisions in 2014.

Industry Guidelines

In 2008 the W3C released Version 2.0 of its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 . These address technologies beyond Section 508 (Javascript, PDF, Flash, among others). These guidelines have gained international recognition, and their Level AA Criteria are the target under the UC Policy.

Practical Implementation

The EALT has created resources to collect best practices across several categories. The Content Developers section will be most relevant for coders and Web authors.

Developers and project managers may refer to the Web Developers section

Documents have also been produced on Procurement and product

Support at UCLA

For demonstrations of adaptive technologies, discussion of Web accessibility techniques, and accessibility reviews of existing sites, please contact the UCLA Disabilities and Computing Program . The DCP will produce documents and launch training initiatives to inform the campus about the Policy throughout 2013-14.