ACCESS

Our Mission

The mission of ACCESS is to provide all employees guided support for the creation, selection, transmission, and distribution of accessible courses and communications (i.e., websites, email, course documents, video, audio, animation & images). Our commitment is to ensure that all members of our campus community have the tools they need to generate, select, transmit, and distribute accessible communications to our stakeholders and the broader community served by the University of St. Francis. This commitment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Providing individual consultations for individuals who design and maintain websites
  • Conducting workshops on the creation of accessible materials
  • Reviewing existing and newly developed courses to identify accessibility issues

Definition

Content is said to be accessible when the content can be easily understood, obtained, and used by all members of the intended audience. The accessibility of the content is not limited by the device (e.g., browser, screen reader & mobile device) through which members of the targeted audience may access the communication. In fact, accessible content is created to support adaptation, regardless of the device members of the targeted audience may use.

Accessibility Litigation In Higher Education

A number of higher education have faced legal troubles over the past few years due to inaccessible learning environments. Click the links below to learn about a few.

MIT, Harvard Sued Over Lack Of Closed Captioning For Online Courses

Pedestrians walk through a gate on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. Dozens of Harvard University students are being investigated for cheating after school officials discovered evidence they may have wrongly shared answers or plagiarized on a final exam. Harvard officials on Thursday didn't release the class subject, the students' names, or specifically how many are being investigated. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Advocates for the deaf sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, saying the universities failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs. The National Association for the Deaf filed class action lawsuits in federal court, saying Harvard and MIT discriminated against the hearing impaired and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read More>>

Landmark Agreement Big Step Forward for Students with Print Disabilities

Berkeley student and parents pose for photo after reaching settlement with UC Berkeley.Berkeley, CA – May 7, 2013 – Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) and the University of California, Berkeley announced a settlement agreement today that will significantly improve information access for students with print related disabilities. The settlement puts in place a range of new policies and procedures to ensure that print disabled students have access to all of the written material students need to read to succeed in a university setting. Read More>>

Civil Rights Agreement Reached with South Carolina Technical College System on Accessibility of Websites to People with Disabilities

College map of South Carolina Technical College SystemThe U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), the state’s largest higher education system, that will ensure that the websites of SCTCS and its 16-member colleges are accessible to persons with disabilities. Colleges and universities increasingly provide information to employees, applicants, students and others through their websites. As part of a proactive compliance review, OCR assessed the accessibility of websites operated by SCTCS and two of its colleges to people with visual disabilities. OCR found that the sites were not readily accessible to persons who are blind, have low vision, or have other print-related disabilities. The office determined that the sites were not in compliance with two federal laws enforced by the Department of Education — Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read More>>