Accessibility and Faculty Responsibility for the Selection of Instructional Materials
March 4, 2022
(This policy supersedes Policy Statement 08-11. The policy was recommended by the Academic Senate on February 11, 2022 and approved by the President on February 24, 2022.)
CSULB and the CSU are committed to providing equal access to information resources to all individuals. Our commitment is both an ethical matter and a legal mandate. CSULB and CSU policies must comply with federal and California state laws governing access to information and services for students / persons with disabilities. The CSU Academic Senate (CSU AS-2700-05) urges campus academic senates to create plans to support faculty and staff practices that will ensure timely access to all instructional materials. The Chancellor’s Office (CSU Executive Order 926 and Coded Memo AA 2006-41) requires campus administrations to do the same.
The successful implementation of this policy requires the active cooperation of the faculty, departments, administration, staff, and students.
Faculty will follow the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) guidelines for:
- Selecting digital content and textbooks;
- Compiling course packets in accessible print formats;
- Integrating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and accessibility best practices in all course content;
- Adopting and submitting digital materials course packets and textbooks to the university by established deadlines;
- Handling accessible instructional materials in a manner that upholds copyright law, and respects intellectual property rights;
- Selecting captioned multimedia and accessible third-party software/websites.
The Purpose of this Policy
- To provide guidance to faculty and departments on textbook and other instructional material selection options that would further universal accessibility.
- To assist in ensuring that instructional materials will indeed be accessible in a timely manner to all students, to promote real-time use of the materials.
Definition of Terms
- Accessible materials are those that are readable, perceivable, and potentially understandable by all students (see the CSU’s Instructional Materials Website for more information);
- Instructional materials include textbooks, course packets, handouts, maps, multimedia, digital media, web- based materials, communication systems (e.g., MS Teams and Zoom), and learning management systems;
- A learning management system is a software application with the capability of integrating authoring tools that assist with learning and allow faculty to create, organize, and deliver content, and to track and assess student performance in educational courses.
- The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the college deans, campus bookstore and the Bob Murphy Access Center’s Accessible Instructional Materials Center (AIMC), will establish deadlines each academic year for faculty submissions of requests for instructional materials to be used in their courses. The campus administration is responsible for allocating resources to the colleges and departments in a timely manner in order to enhance the likelihood that departments will assign faculty to courses early enough to assure the success of this policy.
- The deadlines established for faculty submissions of requests for instructional materials will provide sufficient lead time to identify and secure accessible instructional materials and/or for the AIMC to consult with the necessary entities.
- Faculty are responsible for choosing their instructional materials.
- Departments have responsibility for assuring that faculty members submit their requests for instructional materials by the deadlines established by the Office of the Provost.
- In the case of faculty assigned to courses after the instructional materials submission deadline, the faculty member shall have two weeks to work with the campus to choose and submit their instructional materials.
- Late-hire faculty may not have the option of submitting their own instructional materials for courses when the materials contain complex content such as graphics, maps, figures, equations, formulas, etc., and are needed in an alternative medium such as braille. In such cases, late-hire faculty should communicate with the AIMC regarding established course syllabi, schedules, and additional course materials that will be utilized.
- Faculty are highly encouraged to utilize the campus learning management system for delivering technology-enabled course content, and for posting syllabi and instructional materials that are in accessible formats for their courses. Use of learning management systems shall comply with best practices in course design accessibility.
Exceptions to this policy may be made in cases not subject to time constraints when accessibility of instructional materials cannot be achieved in a reasonable manner (i.e. external national accreditation requirements). In addition, a department will need to explain to BMAC/the AIMC why, and to what extent, compliance creates an undue burden, along with a plan for the instructional materials to become accessible within a timely manner. (See CSULB Website on Accessible Technology Initiative - glossary of "Accessible Technology".)