Digital Accessibility Policy
- Policy Category and Number: Digital Technology Services
- Effective Date: 4/26/23
- Responsible Officer: Vice President & Chief Information Officer Digital Technology Services
- History: New Policy
- Responsible Office: MarCom, Digital Technology Services
- Location: Link
This policy is intended to fulfill Wentworth Institute of Technology’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence, opportunity, and access, including supporting a digital environment that is accessible to all, and in particular, individuals with disabilities.
This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, faculty, staff, and affiliates, as well as third-party vendors who create digital content.
This policy applies to digital content hosted on the University’s websites that is used in furtherance of the University’s delivery of programs, services, or activities. An exception to this policy is with regard to content designated as ‘legacy content.’
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Massachusetts Equal Rights Act
This policy is intended to ensure that all digital content and the systems that contain them, can be equitably accessed by all users. All content creators are responsible for ensuring such equitable access. Similarly, if a user of Wentworth controlled information encounters a barrier, they are encouraged to report the barrier at https://wit.edu/about/contact-us or to use the form found in the footer of the Wentworth website under “Report a Web Accessibility Concern.”
Accessible: Means that a person with a disability is afforded the same opportunities as a person without a disability to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, enjoy the same services, and experience substantially equivalent ease of use
Alternative Access: Auxiliary aides and services that affords individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement, in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs
Content Creators: The department or individual who is responsible for directly creating digital content or who contracts with an external party to provide or manage such content.
Digital Accessibility Advisory Group: Advisory group consisting of members from academic and administrative units and are responsible for setting accessibility policies and guidelines
Digital Content: All written, audio, visual, and other content delivered via a digital system or consumed within a digital medium
Digital Systems: All University websites, Web applications, learning and content management systems, library systems, digital materials, event and calendar systems, University email delivery systems, mobile apps, customer relationship management systems, and any software used to conduct University business; computers and peripherals, information kiosks, telephones, digital signs, and other electronic equipment involving a digital display.
Legacy Content: Any content that is more than five years old and/or has been visited less than 20 times in the current year. Legacy Content may be made accessible or an alternative access plan developed upon request and with reasonable notice.
University Business: Any activities carried out under the auspices of the University but does not include activities organized or conducted by students or student organizations.
University Website: Any public-facing website or web-based application within a Wentworth-controlled domain used to conduct University business by Wentworth faculty and staff
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”): A tool used to assess the accessibility of Web content and develop accessible content. Wentworth aspires to satisfy the WCAG, v. 2.1, Level AA standard of the WCAG, and reserves the right to update this standard as appropriate.
Creation of Digital Content and Procurement of Digital Systems
Content Creators must follow current WCAG v. 2.1 AA accessibility standards when creating or modifying existing content.
Content Creators are also responsible for ensuring that any new systems and features meet accessibility standards and/or satisfies the University’s procurement standards.
The University may establish procedures to assure the University specification for Digital Systems purchases include specifications for accessibility when relevant and uniformly applied across departments.
Marketing & Communications (“MarCom”) will monitor wit.edu to ensure that both its content and infrastructure remain in compliance with current WCAG accessibility standards. To do this, MarCom will use a combination of technology testing and human review of websites.
For properties managed at domains other than wit.edu domain, the vendor and/or department will be responsible for testing and monitoring.
Typically, Legacy Content does not fall under this policy unless a specific request for accommodation has been received. Requests will be reviewed by University officials.
Digital Systems and Digital Content not used for University Business or educational purposes do not fall within this policy.
Requests for Digital Content and Digital Systems exemptions must be in writing and submitted to the Digital Accessibility Advisory Group using this form: https://wentworth.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9YSU6sl1Z9Cq0Bg
Content Creator responsible for the exemption will work with individuals who are unable to access content to provide alternative access as allowed.
Content Creators are responsible for updating Digital Systems and Digital Content that are not in compliance and not subject to an exemption within such timelines
Content Creators may be requested to elevate the priority of accessibility efforts in instances where a specific request has been made by a Wentworth community member.
Reporting and Responding to Accessibility Issues
The Digital Accessibility Advisory Group is responsible for reviewing and responding to reports of "Digital Accessibility Concerns.”
A representative from the Group will route reports to the appropriate department for additional follow-up regarding reports.
A Representative from the Digital Accessibility Working Group and/or Student Accessibility Services and/or Employee Relations & Engagement will work with individuals who are unable to access content to provide alternative access as appropriate.
Additional Information & Related Documents
- Non-Discrimination Policy
- Exemption Requests
- Contract Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Posting Policy
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to Marketing & Communications. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every three years; however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review and Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from Marketing & Communications, the Department of Technology Services, and the Digital Accessibility Sub-Committee. It was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on April 26, 2023.
This policy codifies existing statements and practices.