ARCHIVED: Project: UITS Accessibility Initiative

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Primary UITS contact: Brian Richwine

Last update: January 19, 2016

Description: The UITS Accessibility Initiative, as approved in September 2013 by UITS divisional leadership, is designed to create a strategic shift where accessibility is considered in all stages of development and procurement. The initiative is designed to empower UITS staff with the awareness, knowledge, and processes needed to understand and address the access needs of people with disabilities. It provides a clear path for UITS to become a leader in accessible information technology and services.

Accessibility goal: To have all UITS-provided information technology and services accessible or readily accommodated so individuals with disabilities can use them in a manner that is as equally integrated, as equally effective, and of substantially equivalent ease of use as that experienced by non-disabled individuals. This goal is consistent with the standards for technical and functional performance criteria required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and, to the extent practical, consistent with national and international accessibility standards. Compliance with the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Level AA for websites, electronic documents, and multimedia is the recommended technical standard.


  • Engage in broad partnerships within UITS to facilitate the creation of accessibility resources
  • Development of UITS Accessibility team, community of practice, and processes
  • Broad-based accessibility training and resources to support all levels of faculty and staff
  • How-to resources for creating accessible content and using IT accessibly (documents, multimedia, platforms)
  • Process of ongoing accessibility review, training, and support as needed for UITS to address accessibility in all stages of development and procurement
  • Accessibility documentation for UITS systems, including how accessibility is being considered throughout the system's life cycle, analysis results, roadmap for addressing any concerns, and plans for providing equally effective access as workarounds for any ongoing concerns
  • Accessibility evaluation tools that can be used to identify and ensure accessibility concerns are remediated
  • Website providing central point for viewing accessibility documentation and finding resources (including recorded training sessions) and Initiative and UITS Accessibility documentation

Recent progress:

  • Held initial UITS Accessibility Initiative Implementation Team meeting and received feedback on our common language for communicating the degree of accessibility of any given IT product or service
  • Launched SortSite, a website testing tool, available on IUanyWare to all UITS staff as of October 2015
  • Completed 175+ completed Initial Accessibility Analyses (IAAs) for over 25 different UITS units. Following is a summary of accessibility levels found in IAAs (full list of IAAs available upon request):
    Accessibility level Count Percentage
    Very accessible 1 < 1%
    Functionally accessible 36 24%
    Accessible after training 28 18%
    Moderate inaccessibility 73 48%
    Severe inaccessibility 15 10%
    Total: 153
    Web applications
    Accessibility level Count Percentage
    Very accessible 0 0%
    Functionally accessible 1 6%
    Accessible after training 1 6%
    Moderate inaccessibility 6 38%
    Severe inaccessibility 8 50%
    Total: 16

  • Presented initiative update at Statewide IT Conference
  • Provided accessibility consultations for multiple UITS units

Current activities:

  • Continuing to identify and perform IAAs on UITS systems
  • Continuing to consult with UITS units about accessibility and the results of their IAAs
  • Performing comprehensive accessibility analysis on, Canvas, Zoom, Echo30 ALP and Kaltura
  • Offering accessibility training through IT Training on document accessibility, intro to web accessibility, advanced web accessibility, and web accessibility evaluation to UITS units
    Type of training Number of times given Total attendees
    Document accessibility 4 54
    Introductory web accessibility 3 37
    Advanced web accessibility 2 44
    Web accessibility evaluation 1 8

  • Developed content for website and actively meeting with IT Communications about launch (target launch date February 2016)
  • Trialing enterprise-scale automated accessibility scanning tools to assess their effectiveness and ease of use for monitoring website accessibility status and performing analyses
  • Developing a list of critical systems and services to monitor for accessibility
  • Developing a closer relationship with eLearning Design and Services to track the accessibility of Next.IU tools
  • Research methods for including accessibility into unit testing and agile development cycles
  • Continuing collaborative partnerships

Next steps:

  • Continue offering consultations to the remainder of the units for which we have completed individual system and service reviews
  • Expanding the number of available accessibility training opportunities
  • Establish new strategic partnerships with key units from Enterprise Systems, Networks, and Research Technologies
  • Publish initiative information and accessibility guides as KB articles or webpages for public consumption through
  • Hold quarterly UITS Accessibility Initiative Implementation Team meetings
  • Develop an accessibility community of practice

Where the initiative is behind:

  • Disseminating completed accessibility reports to system/service owners
  • Evaluating web and software applications
  • Establishing one mechanism for reporting IT accessibility issues with UITS systems
  • Launching a website ( to disseminate UITS and general IT accessibility information

Comment process: Email Brian Richwine

Benefits: A managed process involving broad UITS participation that:

  • Provides a clear path for UITS to become a leader in providing electronic and information technology and services that are born accessible via sustainable and transparent processes that consistently maintain a high level of accessibility
  • Results in a better and more inclusive experience for all
  • Lowers ADA accommodation costs
  • Provides a clear process for promptly addressing discovered and reported accessibility issues
  • Meets IU's legal requirements and reduces legal risk

Client impact: Multiple units, technologies, and services have received ad hoc accessibility reviews. This project will extend and improve the current services while providing progress metrics to supervisors and UITS leadership. It also provides a process to help ensure that students, faculty, and staff have access to all content provided through UITS technology and services, which is crucial to their academic success and employment obligations.

Empowering People action:

  • Recommendation B9:
    • Action 39: IU should ensure that information technology resources on all campuses are accessible to students, faculty, and staff with disabilities in conformance with all relevant federal regulations and guidelines.

Project team:

  • David Goodrum
  • Joe Humbert
  • Brian Richwine
  • Mary Stores

Governance: Associate Dean Anastasia S. Morrone, UITS Learning Technologies

This is document bdvi in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 17:12:59.

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