Miami University is committed to providing equal opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in, and benefit from, Miami’s services, programs, and activities. The purpose of this Policy is to acknowledge that Miami’s commitment to equal opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities includes services, programs, and activities that Miami delivers through web-based, digital, and emerging technologies.
“Equally effective alternate access,” with respect to electronic and information technology, means an alternative format, medium, or other aid that timely and accurately communicates the same content as does the original format or medium, and which is appropriate to an individual’s disability. To provide equally effective alternate access, Miami shall provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services as necessary to afford 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, but Miami need not ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities achieve the identical result or level of achievement as individuals without disabilities. Nothing in this policy requires Miami to take any action that results in (1) a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or (2) undue financial and administrative burden. Miami will, nevertheless ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that qualified students with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by Miami.
“Fundamental alteration” means a change to a service, program, or activity that fundamentally alters the nature of the service, program, or activity, which includes academic courses or technology. While not required under this policy to undertake actions that would constitute a fundamental alteration to a service, program, or activity, Miami will take any other action that would not result in such an alteration, but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, qualified individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by Miami.
“Legacy Pages” means web pages created and published before January 2012.
“Timely” and “timeliness” mean access in sufficient time for the person with the disability to have an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as persons without disabilities.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) refers to standards for web content accessibility that have been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”), an international community where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. For purposes of this Policy, Miami utilizes WCAG version 2.0, level AA when determining web content accessibility.
Beginning December 14, 2016, all new and redeveloped web pages, web applications, and web content, created by Miami, on websites and subdomains used for Miami’s academic divisions, academic departments, and administrative offices shall conform to WCAG 2.0 AA. A listing of covered websites can be found at the AccessMU website. In addition, for all websites and subdomains used for Miami’s academic divisions, academic departments, and administrative offices, all web pages, web applications, and web content that were created and published on or after January 2012 shall be made to conform to WCAG 2.0 AA by June 2018. Legacy Pages shall be made accessible upon request of a qualified student with a disability. Exceptions to these requirements for certain types of content may be found at the AccessMU website. Any requests for exceptions for specific content should be directed to the Accessible Technology Coordinator.
Textbook and Course Material Accessibility
Miami will provide individuals with disabilities who register with Student Disability Services (SDS) equally effective communication of curricular materials (e.g., textbooks, workbooks, articles, compilations, presentations, collaborative assignments, videos, and images or graphical materials) converted to alternate formats (see Procedures for Requesting Alternative Format Materials). In selecting texts and book-length course materials, including any supplementary digital applications or content provided by the publishers of such texts and book-length course materials, Miami academic departments will consider the availability of materials in accessible electronic formats, such as: the DAISY Consortium’s Digital Accessible Information System DAISY” Standard and the International Digital Publishing Forum’s EPUB3 specification for digital publication and documents; WCAG 2.0 AA and the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (“WAI-ARIA”) 1.0 for web content; the W3C’s Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (“ATAG”) 2.0 for web authoring tools; the W3C’s Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (“WCAG2ICT”) and Section 508-1194.21 for non-web software and content; the W3C’s Mathematical Markup Language (“MathML”) 3.0 for materials incorporating digital mathematical and scientific notation; the Braille Authority of North America’s (“BANA”) Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics (2010) and the BANA Guidelines for the Production of Braille Materials through the Use of Braille Production Software (2007) for hard copy braille; and any successors to these standards.
Student Lifecycle Critical Transactions
Miami-created content, websites, and applications that Miami uses for completion of critical or important transactions in the student lifecycle (e.g., websites used for campus housing, campus dining, registering for classes, paying bills, obtaining transcripts) (“Critical Transactions”) or to complete required training (e.g., Alcohol EDU) shall conform to WCAG 2.0 AA. Third party content, websites, or applications used for Critical Transactions or training shall either conform to WCAG 2.0 AA or Miami shall provide equally effective alternate access to qualified individuals with disabilities until such time that conformance can be achieved.
Student Organization Websites
The websites, web pages, and web applications (e.g., “The Hub,”) that Miami provides for use by student organizations that have registered with Miami shall conform with WCAG 2.0 AA, and shall not block or interfere with any accessibility features in content uploaded by student organization content providers. These websites, web pages, and web applications shall employ templates with fields designed to assist content providers with producing and uploading WCAG 2.0 AA-conforming content, and Miami will provide other tools and resources to assist student organization content providers with producing and uploading WCAG 2.0 AA-conforming content.
All web technology or software that Miami procures for use by its students shall conform to the relevant accessibility standards (a listing of relevant standards can be found at the AccessMU website) as long as the technology is commercially available and its purchase does not result in undue financial and administrative burdens or a fundamental alteration. If a product is available and meets some, but not all, of the relevant accessibility standards, Miami will procure the product that best meets the standard, unless its purchase would result in undue financial and administrative burdens or a fundamental alteration, or unless an exception applies pursuant to Miami’s Accessible Technology Procurement Policy. The AccessMU website contains a listing of exceptions. Exceptions can only be granted by the Procurement Review Committee.
Links to Additional Resources
Grievance Process: Students who believe they have been denied appropriate disability-related accommodations, including appropriate auxiliary aids and services, may file a grievance with Miami’s Student Disability Services or with Miami’s Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity: Grievance Procedures (Student Handbook 4.3.F.7).
Inaccessible Digital File Conversion Submission Page: Qualified individuals with disabilities who are students, staff, or applicants for admission to Miami may submit or upload for Miami’s remediation inaccessible documents, images, and multimedia: (1) created by Miami and published on its websites, or (2) sent to or received at a Miami email address, or posted to a Miami website (such as the Hub), by Miami students or staff in connection with curricular activities, student government, major student publications (Miami Student, Miami Quarterly, and UP Magazine), student organizations that have registered with Miami, residential life activities (e.g., dorm movie nights) sponsored or organized by Miami’s Residence Hall Association, student participation in or attendance at campus theatrical and musical performances, student participation in or attendance at campus art shows, or student participation in or attendance at recreational events and activities (e.g., intramural sports). Remediation may be requested using the Inaccessible Digital File Conversion Submission Page.
Qualified individuals with disabilities who are former students of Miami may submit or upload for Miami’s remediation inaccessible files (e.g., documents, images, and multimedia) on websites that Miami directs former students to use for completion of critical or important functions (e.g., websites used for obtaining transcripts).
Miami generally will remediate inaccessible files within three (3) business days of submission or upload. If remediation cannot be accomplished within this time frame, Miami will advise the submitting individual of the steps it will take to remediate the file, as well as the time frame it anticipates it will need to complete the remediation.