Accessible Technology Initiative

Accessible Technology Initiative Logo

Introduction

The California State University (CSU) system launched a system-wide Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) to ensure that each CSU campus follows CSU policy and federal and state laws pertaining to access to information and technology.

Sacramento State is dedicated to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in all aspects of its academic programs and services. The university recognizes the importance of making its physical facilities as well as its information technology services accessible to ensure the campus is accessible by everyone regardless of disability. 

CSU Policy:

In 2003, California Government Code 11135 applied Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998 to the CSU.

In January 2006, the CSU launched the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) in order to develop the work plan, guidance, and resources to assist campuses in carrying out the accessible technology provisions of 
The California State University Board of Trustees Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations - CSU Executive Order 926
 (EO):

"It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff, and the general public regardless of disability."

Given the nature of this Executive Order, the CSU identified a plan addressing the following three areas:

  1. Web Accessibility
  2. Instructional Materials Accessibility
  3. Accessible Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) Procurement
Sacramento State's Accessible Technology Policy:

Sacramento State's Accessible Technology Policy:

"Sacramento State is committed to providing an inclusive environment that allows access to its resources regardless of ability.  Sacramento State therefore adopts the accessible technology provisions of the California State University Board of Trustees Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations - CSU Executive Order 926 as its own accessible technology policy" 

ATI Priorities:

Web Accessibility

The Internet has become the primary communications vehicle by which Sacramento State reaches its vast community. Some individuals with disabilities use assistive technologies, such as screen readers to read text aloud on the screen or voice recognition software instead of a mouse to control the computer. It is important that web pages are designed so that the content is accessible to all individuals including those using assistive technologies. Over the next several years, the university will bring all of the web pages associated with campus administration, services, programs, and activities into compliance with Web accessibility standards and requirements identified hereafter. The initiative has already begun an orderly assessment of www.csus.edu and identified the "most used" 20 web pages reflective of a wide range of web services including pages accessed by students with disabilities. The process used automated tools for analysis but also required manual assessment, human interaction, training, and knowledge of software to insure conformity with national accessibility guidelines.  

Instructional Materials Accessibility

It is the goal of this initiative to make all instructional materials accessible and available in a timely manner to all learners to meet the accessibility requirements mandated by CSU Executive Order 926. For instructional materials in print form, the University encourages faculty and staff to identify course materials in a timely manner, including ordering print and non-print materials, and to consider the availability of an electronic version (to facilitate conversion to alternative formats using assistive technology) when deciding on the textbook or any other printed material for instruction. For instructional materials that are in electronic form, such as class notes, interactive media, graphics, and video presentations, compliance requirements would find the learner with disabilities using tools such as a screen reader or closed captioning. First priority and attention should be given to materials that will be needed by students with disabilities, new materials by including accessibility features at inception, then to retrofitting older materials, beginning with those demonstrating the highest utilization or academic demands. A collaborative effort among the faculty, administration, staff and the publishers, media distributors and bookstores is a key ingredient in implementing this goal.  

Instructional Materials Accessibility Guidelines

Accessible Electronic and Information Procurement

Important to the success of the first two priorities is for the university to adhere to the set of accessibility standards for six categories of electronic and information technology (E&IT) including websites and web applications, hardware, software, Telecommunications, multimedia and self-contained closed products like copiers, fax machines, kiosks, etc. The university is required to purchase E&IT products and services that conform to standards which have been established for each of the six categories of covered items, if such is commercially available and the purchase does not result in undue burden.  

Accessible Electronic and IT Procurement Guidelines

Alternate Access

If incorporating accessibility is not possible (e.g. due to fundamental alteration or commercial non-availability), or would constitute an undue burden (i.e. significant difficulty or expense, based on all campus resources available to the program), then an exception must be requested and a plan to provide an alternative means of access through accommodation must be developed. The accommodation plan should adhere to the relevant campus accommodations policies (i.e. Academic Program Access for Students With Disabilities for students, Disability Accommodation Procedure for Current Employees  for staff/faculty or Disability Accommodation Policy for Public Access to Campus Events for members of the public).

Recommended minimal equipment for reasonable access to self-instructional computer laboratory environments for students with disabilities can be found  Every self-instructional computer lab has clearly identified ADA stations for use by individuals with disabilities. These stations have hardware accessories as well as additional software programs to assist users with disabilities.  In addition, the Services to Students with Disabilities' High Tech Center specializes in assisting students with disabilities with assistive technology. 

ATI and Legal Requirements

Sacramento State is governed by a variety of laws and regulations that mandate that the campus provides "equal and equitable access" to its academic programs and services. A series of Office of Civil Rights recent rulings have determined that the same exact level and timeliness of access must be available to individuals with disabilities. The universal access to information technology is part of the CSU's commitment to equal and equitable access. The CSU policy is premised on the following federal and state laws including but not limited to Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990; Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and California Government Code 11135 of 2003 which applies Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998 to the CSU.

Commitment to the ATI:

CSU and campus commitment to the ATI is at the highest level. The framework for its introduction into the CSU system and Sacramento State outlines a phased-in approach. An implementation approach of the ATI can be found in the following CSU coded memoranda:

Considering the importance of the effort and Sacramento State's commitment to barrier-free learning and access to electronic and information technology resources, an ATI Steering Committee was established to prepare plans to implement the ATI priorities. Campus procedures and guidelines are maintained and updated regularly as needed.

For questions about the ATI at Sacramento State or to request alternate formats of this information, please contact ati@csus.edu.

For questions about the CSU systemwide Accessible Technology Initiative please visit: http://www.calstate.edu/accessibility/.