California State University, Long Beach
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Accessible Technology Initiative Under Way

The California State University system, including CSULB, is undertaking the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) to comply with federal and state laws ensuring that individuals with disabilities can obtain classroom and administrative information provided via information technology as well as conventional printed materials.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office ATI Web site, includes information about the initiative’s requirements, timelines and resources. CSULB’s ATI Steering Committee, chaired by Student Services Vice President Doug Robinson, is leading the campus effort and is developing informational materials as well as presentations about the process for campus constituencies.

CSU Executive Vice Chancellor Gary Reichard noted in coded memo AA-2007-04 that, “The federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that qualified individuals with disabilities be provided equal access to programs, services or activities.” California Government Code also applies Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which addresses information technology access, to state entities and to the CSU system. CSU Executive Order 926 further outlines ATI policies.

“Achieving accessibility will require collaboration among faculty, disability resource centers, bookstores, academic and student services departments, academic technology and other institutional staff, and students with disabilities,” Reichard said.

ATI has three major priorities:

Priority One: Web Accessibility (Administrative)

Access to the Internet and its resources, including Web sites, Web applications and digital content, are considered areas where the ADA applies, making Internet accessibility a priority for the CSU. Substantial progress has been made in ensuring that CSULB’s administrative Web pages are fully ADA-compliant. Guidance for faculty in building their pages will be made available.

Initial goals include developing processes for auditing, monitoring and remediating Web sites; establishing accountability and documentation procedures; determining exceptions and developing, documenting and communicating the equally effective alternate form of access that will be provided; and developing a strategy to ensure that new Web sites and Web content incorporate accessibility in the design and authoring process.

Priority Two: Instructional Materials Accessibility

Instructional materials and online course materials also must be accessible to persons with disabilities, and to the extent possible, available at the same time for all students in a program. CSU policy states that, following consultation with local faculty senates as appropriate, each campus should create a plan to support faculty and staff practices that will ensure timely access to instructional materials.

The initiative calls for developing processes for timely adoption of textbooks by faculty, identifying textbooks for late-hire faculty, early identification of students with disabilities who require instructional materials to be provided in an alternate format and assisting faculty in developing their own accessible materials.

Priority Three: Accessible Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) Procurement

Section 508 includes a set of accessibility standards for six categories of electronic and information technology (E&IT) including Web applications, hardware, software, telecommunications, multimedia, and self-contained products like copiers, fax machines, kiosks, etc. The CSU must incorporate Section 508 standards as it develops or acquires new E&IT resources if such are commercially available, and their purchase does not result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration.

Plans will include research, evaluation, documentation, verification where appropriate and determination of exceptions related to E&IT procurement; a process for determining undue burden or fundamental alteration; and procedures for providing equally effective alternate access for E&IT acquisitions that are approved for exception or that are not yet subject to the E&IT accessible procurement process.

The CSU System Accessible Technology Initiative’s general timeline is:
June 15, 2007:
  • Web Accessibility Implementation Plan and First Year Web Report
  • Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan
  • Electronic and Information Technology Procurement Plan
  • Yearly Reports: Web and Instructional Materials Progress Reports – June 15 each year
  • Procurement Progress Reports – August 15 each year
  • June 15, 2012: Web and Instructional Materials Final Reports
  • August 15, 2012: Procurement Final Report