Web Accessibility Policy

Date Last Amended: 3 November 2023

1. Purpose

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities by public universities receiving financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. Malone University is committed to ensuring communication with university constituents with disabilities, including students, prospective students, employees, guests and visitors, who have hearing, visual and manual impairments, or who otherwise require the use of assistive technology to access information, is as effective as communication with those without disabilities. 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure all official university web pages and university-related web pages will permit persons with disabilities to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services with substantially equivalent ease of use as those without disabilities. All web content within the scope of this policy must be accessible to university constituents and must adhere to the web accessibility standards referred to below

2. Overview

This policy applies to all information on official university web pages and university-related web pages, as defined within this policy. 

3. Guidelines

  1. Each administrative unit, department, or office, through collaboration with the University Webmaster, is responsible for ensuring web content is accessible (in accordance with the Web Accessibility Standards) and all software and IT systems purchased are able to produce accessible products and documents or are compatible with assistive technology. The Web Accessibility Standards include standards for web and social media content and the use of third party content like YouTube. 

  2. Content editors may develop and maintain official university web pages and university-related web pages and are responsible for their content subject to the following requirements:

    • Software used to develop official university web pages will be limited to packages approved by Information Technology.

    • Official university web pages must run on IT servers or servers contracted for by IT. 

    • All official university web pages and university-related web pages must conform to the Web Accessibility Standards. 

  3. The Webmaster shall provide direction and guidance on standards to be followed for accessibility of all web pages. The Web Accessibility Standards shall be posted on the Accessibility Services web page. The Webmaster is responsible for developing and implementing a plan to do the initial and periodic audits of all official university web pages and all university-related web pages for compliance with the Web Accessibility Standards. The Webmaster is authorized to disable any web page found to be in violation of the Web Accessibility Standards.

    • The Webmaster, along with the entire University Relations team, will complete W3Cx: Introduction to Web Accessibility training provided through EdX. 

  4. All official university web pages and university-related web pages must adhere to: 

    • Applicable copyright laws.

    • Applicable State of Ohio and federal laws and rules. 

    • Malone Information Technology & University Relations policies 

    • The Web Accessibility Standards. 

4. Revision History

  • Conformed to IT Policy template Wednesday, 18 October 2023

  • Adapted from BGSU’s Policy: 17 October 2023

5. Related Documents

6. Responsibility for Compliance 

  1. Responsibility to ensure website compliance ultimately resides with the University Webmaster. This responsibility includes working with content editors for each department at the institution. 

    • The Vice President for each division is responsible for appointing a content editor(s) within their area of responsibility. These editors are responsible to ensure content updates across their pages are consistent with institutional policies and ADA regulations prior to submission to the University Webmaster. 

7. Appendices

7.1 Definitions

  1.  According to the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, web accessibility refers to website tools and technologies being utilized so the web content is  available for people with disabilities to perceive, understand, and navigate. 

  2. “Official university web page.” An official university web page is any web page created by the university, its departments, colleges, or other administrative offices for the official business of the university. 

  3. “University-related web page.” A university-related web page is any web page (other than an official university web page) created by or linked from a web page created by faculty, staff, students and/or registered student organizations that is:

    1.  Linked from an official university web page;

    2. Created in support of university businesses and courses; or

    3. On servers contracted by the university. 

  4. “Content editors.” Authorized university faculty or staff trained by the Information Technology Office (“IT”) and University Relations (“UR”) departments on the Web Accessibility Standards and on the approved content management system such that they are approved to maintain an official university web page or a university-related web page. 

  5.  “Web Accessibility Training” is provided by EdX and is  described at https://www.malone.edu/statement-on-web-accessibility/. It is required training completed by all staff within the University Relations department.

  6. The University Webmaster, among other responsibilities, coordinates and implements the web accessibility policy. The web accessibility complaint procedure is described at https://www.malone.edu/statement-on-web-accessibility/

  7. The “Web Accessibility Standards” are set forth at https://www.malone.edu/statement-on-web-accessibility/. Malone’s web accessibility standards are drawn from W3C web accessibility initiative (“WAI”) and section 508 standards.

  8.  “Web content” or “content” is information on an official university web page or university-related web page. 

7.2 Procedures 

7.2.1 for creating and posting accessible web content.

  1. Authorized content editors may develop and maintain official university web pages and university-related web pages in coordination with the University Webmaster. 

  2. Anyone (including administrative and academic units, individuals, and organizations) who needs to be able to place content on an official university web page or a university related web page must first visit https://www.malone.edu/statement-on-web-accessibility/ to sign up for review of our institutional policy and additional documentation on ADA web accessibility. Annual review and sign off is required for users to maintain their access to develop and oversee content on the website.

  3. The Webmaster will complete an internal accessibility audit (Audit) quarterly, during which web content provided by the content editor is measured against the Web Accessibility Standards. 

  4. If any web content is determined to be in violation of the parameters in this policy, including the Web Accessibility Standards, an effort will be made beforehand to discuss the violation(s) with the content editor and to correct any errors. The Webmaster is responsible for correcting the errors. 

7.3.2 Reporting violations. 

Accessibility concerns with any web content may be directed to the Webmaster for prompt resolution by clicking on “report an issue” at the bottom of every web page or by using the following hyperlink: https://www.malone.edu/statement-on-web-accessibility/ 

7.3.3 Responding to an Accessibility Complaint

Upon receipt of an accessibility complaint or barrier reporting, the Webmaster will:

  1. Document the complaint received within an excel spreadsheet database, including the nature of the complaint and date the complaint was received. 

  2. Investigate the issue and provide a preliminary response to the reporting individual within 40 business hours of receiving the complaint. 

    • The Director of University Relations will provide support to these tasks in the event of an extended absence by the University Webmaster. 

If an accessibility issue is discovered within the context of the supported assistive technologies and Information Technology applications at the college, the Webmaster will, in consultation with the appropriate staff:

  1. Define the existing accessibility issue within the complaint documentation and highlight criteria necessary to resolve the issue;

  2. Specify the level of priority for resolving the accessibility issue and identify a timeline for resolution.

  3. Documentation of steps taken to resolve the issue must also be added to the complaint information, including the date of final resolution. 

Following the creation of the accessibility information, the Webmaster will respond to the reporting individual, if appropriate, and inform the individual as to the timeline for resolution.

The Webmaster will communicate with the reporting individual to determine if an alternate access solution is necessary while the accessibility issue is resolved.

Following the resolution and/or conclusion of the accessibility issue, the Webmaster will identify, within the report documentation in Excel, the date at which the accessibility issue was completed.