Policy Summary and Purpose
Berea College commits itself to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment for all students, staff, faculty and visitors who participate in the College’s services, programs and activities. Part of this commitment includes developing and maintaining a public-facing website and its contents that is accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities (including vision, hearing, motor, cognitive and neurological) in accordance with federal and state laws.
Berea College is committed to complying with state and federal laws regarding individuals with disabilities, including, but not limited to: Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Kentucky Accessible Information Technology Law (KRS 61.890).
- Accessibility: The College’s objective that everyone within the College community, regardless of disability, will have equal access to its resources.
- Content: Any electronic resources used for instruction, information distribution or communication. This includes but is not limited to: web-based services, webpage elements, WordPress plugins, electronic documents (PDF, Word documents, etc.), still graphics or images and multimedia products.
- Multimedia: Time-based media storage format for sound/music and moving pictures information.
- Public-facing web properties: All front-facing digital properties of Berea College under the ownership of the Marketing and Communications department.
- User agent: Any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with web content, or whose user interface is implemented using web technologies.
- Web technology: Methods used by computers to communicate with one another through markup languages and multimedia packages.
This policy applies to the College’s public-facing web properties, the content they house and their procurement, development, implementation and ongoing maintenance. It is the responsibility of all Berea College web developers, content publishers, editors, domain owners or anyone who has any role in creating or updating Berea College web content to follow the guidelines contained in this policy.
To adhere to the Web Accessibility Policy, all official Berea College websites should meet the accessibility standards, as set forth in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG), Level A and AA.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines “four principles of accessibility” within WCAG 2.1:
- Perceivable: Information must be able to perceive the information being presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- This means users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses).
- Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform).
- Understandable: Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding).
- Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
- This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible).
All official Berea College webpage footers must contain a link to report accessibility issues. Upon request to address an issue with the accessibility of a webpage or website, the issue must be addressed and in compliance with WCAG 2.1 or an equivalent alternative must be made available in a timely manner.
Reporting an Accessibility Issue
Those who wish to file a concern regarding an inaccessible website or webpage may fill out the online concern form or call the Marketing and Communications department at 859-985-3018.
Enforcement and Assistance
It is the responsibility of the Marketing and Communications department to enforce accessibility standards and ensure that content managers conform to those requirements. The web development team will routinely fix accessibility issues and mitigate new issues as needed using a system to track and correct new content.
Any web technologies may be removed or decommissioned if not in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidance. Requests for exemptions may be requested only if compliance is not technically possible or requires extraordinary measures due to the purpose of the page and the nature of the information.
The Marketing and Communications department will provide professional development opportunities to campus web content managers to create accessible web pages using WCAG 2.1 level A and AA standards.