Memorandum

March 26, 2007

TO: SSU Campus Community

FR: President Ruben Arminana

RE: Ensuring Access to Electronic and Information Technology to Persons with Disabilities

Introduction:

Sonoma State University is committed to providing a fully inclusive environment responsive to the needs of all students. As such, information technology resources, services and programs will be made accessible to persons with disabilities. This effort represents a shared responsibility of all members of the campus and will require ongoing, overall institutional attention and commitment for its success.

Electronic and Information Technology refers to all programs and services provided to faculty, staff and students through computer or electronic media. This includes computer and network access and services, computer-delivered or enhanced instruction, library electronic information resources, library online catalogs and homepages, campus informational websites, computer-delivered or assisted administrative services, and voice and video programs and services.

Related Historical Context:

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 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 11135 applies Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, to State entities and to the CSU. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The CSU policy statement on accessibility was articulated in Executive Order 926. The statements of the SSU policy reflect implementation steps for EO 926.

Policy:

It is the policy of SSU that access to electronic and information technology will be provided to persons with disabilities. As such, SSU will:

  • Ensure that campus computer and network access and services, including web sites, web applications and digital content, be made accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Ensure that instructional materials, including online course materials, be made accessible to individuals with disabilities in order to provide them with effective communication.
  • Continue to comply with Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act requirements for Electronic and Information Technology Procurements, including web applications, hardware and software, telecommunications, multimedia and self-contained closed products such as copies, fax machines and kiosks.
  • Work closely with CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) leadership and focus groups, addressing needs of all three ATI priorities:
    • Web Accessibility
    • Instructional Materials Accessibility
    • Electronic and Information Technology Procurement

Implementation:

To effectively address this policy, SSU is developing implementation plans through an Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Steering Committee. This committee consists of three subcommittees to focus on web accessibility, instructional materials accessibility, and electronic and information technology procurement. In addition, SSU has a campus Accessible Technology Initiative Coordinator, who will guide implementation of this policy across campus.

All university programs and departments are expected to comply with the plans, implementation strategies and timelines developed by the SSU ATI Steering Committee and its subcommittees, as well as any related policies developed by the Academic Senate to support this initiative.

Further information and requirements related to this initiative can be found at www.sonoma.edu/accessibility.