It shall be the policy of the Bay de Noc Community College Board of Trustees that Bay College’s Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) shall be equally accessible to all people.
Bay College is committed to ensuring that communication with College constituents with disabilities, including students, prospective students, employees, guests and visitors, with hearing, visual and manual impairments, or who otherwise require the use of assistive technology to access information, is as effective as communication with those without disabilities.
This Policy and Procedure applies to all EIT resources and services produced, maintained, distributed, and/or purchased by Bay College for use by Bay College students, staff, faculty, and visitors, including but not limited to administration and services, course instruction and online learning, departmental programs, athletics, and any other institutionally sponsored program.
“Accessible” means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use.
“Electronic and information technology” or “EIT” includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. The term electronic and information technology includes, but is not limited to, the internet and intranet websites, content delivered in digital form, electronic books and electronic book reading systems, search engines and databases, learning management systems, classroom technology and multimedia, personal response systems (“clickers”), and office equipment such as classroom podiums, copiers and fax machines. It also includes any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, creation, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. This term includes telecommunication products (such as telephones), information kiosks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) transaction machines, computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.
“Equally effective” means that the alternative format or medium communicates the same information in as timely a fashion as does the original format or medium.
Bay College shall create a EIT Accessibility Committee. The EIT Accessibility Committee shall include representatives from the departments of Accessibility, Online Learning, Library, IT, and Academics as well as other members of the campus community appointed, from time to time, by the College President.
The EIT Accessibility Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that EIT materials associated with Bay College complies with this Policy and Procedure, as well as Federal and State laws pertaining to accessibility.
The EIT Accessibility Committee shall be responsible for annually reviewing and making necessary updates to the plan for bringing the College’s EIT materials into compliance with State and Federal laws. The EIT Accessibility Committee’s review shall include, but not be limited to the College’s website, documents posted to webpages and websites, access to classroom podiums and display devices, course registration software, videos, and personal response systems. The review will include not only high-traffic sites or systems, but also capture “critical path” applications or functions such as admissions, curriculum requirements, student conduct, student services, and employee benefits systems. The EIT Accessibility Committee shall document its annual review.
Each Bay College web page will provide a link directing users to the Bay College EIT Accessibility Statement, which includes a link to request accessibility assistance, a link to file a complaint, and a link to the complete Bay College EIT Accessibility Policy.
Employees responsible for creating and/or updating Web Content are responsible for creating Web Content that is accessible. All web pages, websites and web-based software published, hosted or used (including remotely hosted sites and software) by the College will meet the current standards and guidelines outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (http://www.w3.org/TR/wcag2ict/) published by the W3C. All pages will meet Level AA guidelines.
This procedure applies to all electronic instructional materials (syllabi, textbooks, presentations, handouts, etc.). This includes electronic instructional materials delivered within the College’s learning management system, in face-to-face classes, or in an alternate fashion (email, blogs, etc.) and electronic instructional activities (online collaborative writing, web conferencing, etc.). All electronic instructional materials, optional and required, shall be accessible and as effective and useable for persons with disabilities as they are for persons without disabilities. Instructional materials and activities will be made available to all students at the same time. Employees responsible for creating, updating and using electronic instructional materials are responsible for creating, updating and using electronic instructional materials that are accessible.
These procedures apply to all College produced and maintained or distributed electronic documents. Electronic documents include, but are not limited to, word processing documents, PDFs, presentations, publications and spreadsheets which are scanned, uploaded, posted, or otherwise published or distributed electronically. Legacy documents must be made accessible when used. Electronic documents must be accessible. Electronic interaction with College policies, procedures, notifications and other documents must be as effective and useable for persons with disabilities as it is for persons without disabilities. Electronic documents must meet the current standards and guidelines outlined in the Guidance on Applying WCAG to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies, published by the W3C. Employees responsible for producing and maintaining or distributing electronic documents materials are responsible for producing and maintaining or distributing electronic documents that are accessible.
All departments will purchase and produce only accessible multimedia and update existing inaccessible media as it is put into use. All media resources used in College programs and activities must be accessible. For example, this includes, but is not limited to, media that is instructional, informational, and promotional. Video media resources will be closed captioned and audio-described and audio resources will be transcribed. Employees responsible for purchasing or producing electronic instructional materials are responsible for ensuring they are accessible.
All software, hardware and systems purchased must be accessible and must produce accessible products. Accessible, in this context, means compatible with assistive technology. Examples of software, hardware and systems include, but are not limited to, learning and content management systems, library and email systems, and administrative management systems such as finance, registration and human resources, and all software, hardware and software services used for student services. Software includes freeware, shareware, desktop, enterprise, subscription and remotely-hosted options. Software that is accessed through a web-browser must also be accessible and is discussed above.
Purchase orders and contracts for EIT should include the following clause:
“Contractor acknowledges that no College funds may be expended for the purchase of information technology equipment and software for use by employees, program participants, or members of the public unless it provides blind or visually impaired individuals with access, including interactive use of the equipment and services, that is equivalent to that provided to individuals who are not blind or visually impaired. In addition, Contractor acknowledges that such information technology equipment and software will provide equal and effective access to all individuals in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, including, but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.”
All Departments and programs/College employees must purchase or otherwise acquire accessible EIT, in accordance with these procedures.
Where compliance is extremely difficult, reasonable accommodations may be made by the EIT Accessibility Committee.
All faculty, staff and employees responsible for EIT in connection with Bay College must participate in EIT accessibility training. Information on required accessibility training will be available through the Employees Training Calendar on myBay.
If any EIT is determined to be in violation of this Policy, including EIT accessibility standards, an effort will be made beforehand to discuss the violation with the content editor or faculty to correct any errors. The EIT Accessibility Committee, acting through any of its members, has the authority to disable any EIT from the College’s serves if in his/her discretion such action is necessary.
Any employee who violates or compromises the mandates of this policy, and the operating procedures implemented under this policy, may be subject to discipline, up to and including, termination of employment. In addition, any employee who places him or herself directly at odds with the legal mandates of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act may risk being held personally liable for any violation of these federal statutes. If any EIT is not in compliance with the College’s accessibility standards, it will be corrected or removed.
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