Web Accessibility Compliance Plan

The University of New Hampshire is committed to equal access for all.

From admission to graduation, today’s UNH students engage daily in Web-based activities, programs and services. Faculty and staff depend on online forms, procedures, Outlook, and unh.edu access for every aspect of their jobs. Prospective campus visitors use our site to learn about our parking services, our athletic and arts events and to navigate campus. Websites that are accessible to all users are critical to advancing the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence.

Assessment of compliance and required remediation requires a carefully constructed plan. The University is currently in the first step toward a multi-phase, multi-year plan to ensure that students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities have equal access to UNH.edu and all associated domains.

As is the case at many universities and colleges, UNH websites have been developed over time, by many departments and with varying attention to accessibility for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, amended in 2008, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, and regulations developed by federal enforcement agencies all require public entities to provide equal access to services, programs and activities.

Key benefits of the Website Compliance Accessibility Plan are:

  • Compliance to federal and local regulations, decreasing exposure to sanction, fines  and lawsuits.
  • Improvement of functionality and searchability of UNH.edu and associated domains will have a positive impact on recruitment of students and employees and assist people for whom English is a second language and add value to institutional investment in technologies such as Blackboard and Lecture Capture.
  • Contribution to the inclusiveness and diversity of UNH/UNHM. The benefits of Web site accessibility accrue to all.
  • Augmentation of existing instructional and disability support services.

Plan Overview

Objectives of the first phase of the multi-phase plan:

  • To adopt a standard that UNH will follow in making Web pages accessible - for example, the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UUAG) 2.0 standard.
  • To identify UNH Web developers, Web content managers and Web editors (ie: those individuals in the community who have responsibility for Websites).
  • To communicate the adopted standard to the UNH community including Web developers, Web content managers and Web editors and to vendors.
  • To identify and prioritize current UNH websites needing to be brought into compliance.
  • To identify and prioritize known compliance issues by impact as identified by the adopted standard.
  • To identify resources and support required for UNH Web developers, Web content managers and Web editors to ensure website compliance.
  • To identify an appropriate software tool to identify in/out of compliance websites.
  • To establish roles and responsibilities for staff in New and Emerging Media, Web Solutions, Affirmative Action & Equity and Disability Services for Students and for Web developers, Web content managers and Web editors for maintenance, support and compliance checking for UNH websites.
  • To establish a multi-phase plan, including a timeline, and projected costs to bring UNH websites into compliance.
  • To raise awareness of the Web Accessibility Compliance Plan and the need for all UNH websites to be in compliance.

This project is a collaboration of the Affirmative Action and Equity Office, Information Technology and University Communication and Marketing.

Project Sponsors:

John Aber
Provost

Joanna Young
Interim Assistant Vice President for Finance, Chief Information Officer

Project Committee:

Terri Winters
Director, UNH IT Academic Technology & eUNH

Cynthia Cargil
Web Solutions Manager, Information Technology

Rebecca McMillan
Assistive Technology Specialist

Wendy Beckwith
EEO/ADA Compliance Officer, Affirmative Action and Equity Office

Bridget Finnegan
Director of New and Emerging Media, University Communications and Marketing

John Pietlicki
Web Solutions

 

More information on Accessibility:

US Department of Justice: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability: Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)(pdf)