Web Accessibility September 1st Deadline Approaching

August 9, 2018

Yale policy 1605, which promotes an accessible University environment online, went into effect on March 1st of this year. September 1st is an important date in the policy, as it states that all new or substantially revised or redesigned websites created after that date should be accessible. The policy also states that contracts with suppliers include accessibility as a requirement.

ITS Digital Accessibility Team

To help the Yale community meet accessibility requirements, the Digital Accessibility team within ITS has been growing and rolling out services, including training and consultation. The ITS Web Accessibility site provides many resources, including articles on specific digital accessibility topics, information about the web accessibility policy and related procedures, information about training, both in-person delivered by the team and online, and guidance on working with vendors to acquire accessible websites and web applications. All Yale website owners should refer to this site to know how to meet the policy requirements, and can contact the team directly by emailing accessibility@yale.edu with any questions or requests for support.

Acquiring Accessible Software and Professional Services

It is important to consider accessibility from the beginning of the software or service acquisition process.  This includes software and web-based services that may be free or built in-house or by suppliers.  Waiting until the later stages of the acquisition or development process may fail to uncover an accessible solution with the desired functionality and features.  When purchasing or otherwise acquiring a website or web application, whether via a software license or professional services, please complete the Web or Technology Procurement Updates Form to inform the ITS Digital Accessibility team, so they can engage with the acquiring unit and Procurement in evaluating the accessibility of applicable deliverables or services.

Exception Requests

If for some reason a new website or technology is going to go live after September 1st without meeting Yale’s accessibility requirements, its owner must come forward to request an exception and may be required to submit an Exception Request form to the Accessibility Steering Committee for review. Exceptions are only granted when compliance is not technically feasible or may require extraordinary measures due to the nature of the information or purpose of the site. The ITS Digital Accessibility team coordinates exception requests. Reach out to them via accessibility@yale.edu with any questions.

More Information

To learn more about Yale’s web accessibility initiatives to date, check out the YaleNews article on digital accessibility!