Action Plan

The following are preliminary goals and timelines to implement the Universal Access section of the Web Policy, which is available online:

http://www.missouristate.edu/ais/web.htm

Background

People with physical, visual, hearing, and cognitive/neurological disabilities may have problems accessing the content of some web sites. Common accessibility problems that need to be addressed in web sites include: images without alternative text, uncaptioned audio or undescribed video, lack of alternative information for users who cannot access frames or scripts, tables that are difficult to decipher when linearized, or poor color contrast.

Missouri State University is committed to overcoming these problems and providing access for all users, including those with disabilities, to official university web sites. Web page authoring and distribution technology, as well as adaptive computer technology, are each in states of rapid transition. All sides of this technology equation will need to progress at similar rates to achieve acceptable levels of web accessibility.

Goal

Missouri State strives to make all official University web pages, including central, divisional/collegiate/departmental, organizational, and course pages on all campuses, ultimately accessible to the guidelines defined in the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards:

http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm

Tiers

During migration to compliancy, Missouri State will divide its pages into three tiers. Missouri State will strive to make these tiers accessible by the following target dates:

Tier Level Pages Included Target Date
I Any page designed specifically for individuals with disabilities—e.g., disability support, assistive technology support, learning diagnostic center

Central web pages

BearMail

Any page addressing issues of health, safety, welfare—e.g., security, Taylor Health Center

Any page containing federally mandated information for the University community

My Information

October 1, 2001
II Divisional/collegiate/departmental web pages December 1, 2005
Web pages used to support course requirements—implicitly or explicitly Delayed
III All official (non-personal) web pages not listed in Tier I or II June 30, 2005

Note: All new official web pages must comply with the prevailing conformance level. Web supervisors should remove all outdated web pages from their sites as they convert the current pages to an accessible format.

The time frames associated with the preceding tiers are to be considered best estimates. A critical component in the successful long-term implementation of this policy will be regularly scheduled process checks and assessments concerning the efficacy of the goals in relation to state-of-the-art technologies. Those charged with carrying out this action plan, as well as Missouri State administration, approach this extremely large, ongoing, and critically important project with considerable flexibility.

Support

Ultimately, web page supervisors will be responsible for ensuring compliance of their pages with the Missouri State web page accessibility policies. Several avenues of support will be provided:

Instructional guides

The Web Access Compliance Team will coordinate, prepare, and distribute guides in various formats. Instructional designers and Instructional Technology Support specialists will provide technical advice regarding discipline-specific issues and instructions.

Training

Training courses will be offered several times throughout the academic year—e.g., twice during the spring and fall semesters and once during the summer semester:

  • The Director of Web Services, in cooperation with the Assistive Technology Support specialist, will develop and teach courses either together or on alternate cycles.
  • The Director of Web Services will hire and train graduate assistants to review web pages for accessibility.

At least two additional instructional/informational resources will be utilized:

  • The technical trainer will include some web access information in the Microsoft FrontPage and web-related Short Courses.
  • The Disability Support coordinator will provide some web access "awareness" and instruction in conjunction with courses/seminars presented through the Faculty Development Grant.

Technical Support

Several support personnel will provide technical support to developers:

  • The Office of Web and New Media will provide individualized support on accessibility issues to all web developers in the Missouri State system. Sessions may be scheduled through email to WACT@missouristate.edu
  • Supportive personnel, such as Instructional Technology Support specialists and instructional designers, will further assist the instructors in their department or college in creating and converting course web pages to an accessible format. The Director of Web and New Media and the Assistive Technology Support specialist will provide specialized training and instruction to these supportive personnel.
  • Missouri State-West Plains User Support specialists will further assist Missouri State-West Plains developers in creating and converting web pages to an accessible format.

Web Access Compliance Team

The Web Access Compliance Team will review University web pages for compliance with the Web Policy. The team may consult the Disability Services Committee for advice or assistance with specific developmental tasks or phases.

  • The Web Projects Coordinator will lead the Web Access Compliance Team. The team will need office space, workstations, and a printer.
  • The team will conduct reviews of web pages and make recommendations for human intervention (correction) for each official web page to achieve the compliance stipulated by the Web Policy. The team will prepare and distribute reports highlighting the degree of accessibility compliance and their recommendations for achieving accessibility compliance, as indicated in the Compliance Enforcement Procedures below.
  • Web page developers may request assistance from the Web Access Compliance Team. The team will review the respective web page(s) and prepare a brief summary report concerning the degree of compliance and recommendations for achieving accessibility compliance.
  • The Web Access Compliance Team will provide an online comment form for those with disabilities to complete regarding their needs and experiences with Missouri State web pages. The WACT will review the results, identify any problems, and contact web supervisors or the Disability Services Committee as necessary.

Compliance Enforcement Procedures

The Web Access Compliance Team will prepare and distribute reports to web supervisors that include the degree of accessibility compliance and recommendations for achieving accessibility compliance. Accompanying the reports will be a link to an online form where web page supervisors can notify the WACT that they have completed the necessary changes.

  1. Web supervisors will be notified on their report that they will have six months to make their web pages accessible and return the completed report.
  2. Two weeks prior to the six month deadline, the Web Access Compliance Team will send a second notice to web supervisors. This notice will tell web supervisors that they have two weeks to finish making their pages accessible and return the form, or contact the Web Access Compliance Team.
  3. Web supervisors requiring additional time to make the necessary accessibility changes can contact the Web Access Compliance team to request an extension to his or her site's deadline. These extensions will be granted based on the web supervisors prior attempts to make his or her site compliant and to the size and complexity of the site.
  4. Upon receiving the completed online form, the Web Access Compliance Team will re-check the web pages under review. The team will notify the web supervisor whether they have successfully brought their pages into compliance or need to continue their efforts.
  5. If web supervisors refuse to comply or do not contact the Web Access Compliance Team within the six month timeframe and do not respond to the reminders, the Web Access Compliance Team will remove the web pages from the Missouri State web server. In place of the removed pages, a notice will be posted that states the web pages are temporarily unavailable and lists contact information for the web page supervisor.

    Supervisors of web pages that have been removed from the server will not be barred from publishing future pages on the Missouri State web. They may begin immediately to replace removed content with web pages that are compliant with the prevailing conformance level. In addition, they will have access to all of the resources outlined in this policy—e.g., instructional guides, training courses, and individual consultation.

    Web supervisors with appeals should first contact the Web Access Compliance Team. Further appeals may be made to the Web Access Appeal Board, which includes the vice president of Academic Affairs, chief information officer, University counsel, dean of students, and equal opportunity officer.