The University of Mississippi (UM) is committed to providing equal access to its educational services, programs, and activities in accordance with federal law and university policy. Part of this commitment is to establish a welcoming and equitable digital experience that includes creating an information and communication technology environment that is accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities, with or without the use of assistive technology. Implementation of this policy will ensure that all individuals have access to Digital Content, Resources, and Technology (“Digital Material”) provided by or on behalf of the University. Digital Material is further defined as information, products, and services available for download or distribution in an electronic format or presented on a web page or through a web or other computer application. Federal laws require equitable use of educational technology, including all programs, services, and communication systems, as well as online and digital environments.
The scope of this policy details the accessibility requirements and standards for UM departments and third parties, under circumstances within the University’s control, as they develop or obtain Digital Material that includes but is not limited to:
- Content management systems and learning management systems
- Audio and video content
- Desktop, mobile, and cloud-based software applications
- Electronic documents
- Interactive tools and platforms
- Email and calendars
- Library resources
- Social media
- Digital research products
- Digital content and materials used in a course
The University will implement federal requirements for accessibility. Minimum requirements are defined in the Standard on Accessibility of Public Digital Content, Resources, and Technology.
UM departments that create, procure, or maintain Digital Material are responsible for complying with this policy and related standards. The department head is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Digital Material deployed by that department is accessible.
Compliance may not always be feasible due to the nature or purpose of the Digital Material. In addition, compliance may pose an unreasonably high administrative or financial cost in certain cases. However, these difficulties do not automatically relieve departments from their obligations to provide accessible programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. Refer to the Standard on Accessibility of Digital Content, Resources, and Technology for further information about limited exceptions to this policy.
Failure to comply may result in restriction of services. Department heads are ultimately responsible for compliance. Failure to comply may subject departments to disciplinary actions. See the “Penalties” section of the IT Appropriate Use Policy.
The UM Accessibility Statement offers points of contact for reporting barriers and complaints.
Related Requirements and Resources
The following articles and websites offer valuable advice and additional details for deploying accessible technology services:
External Regulations, Standards, and Guidelines
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- W3C’s Current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- Web Accessibility Initiative