Earlier this year, the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opened an audit to review Boise State University’s public facing digital content for accessibility. The audit included a review of the Boise State and affiliated websites, social media feeds, and other online and digital content.
During the course of that audit, Boise State entered into a voluntary resolution agreement which outlines the steps the University must take to ensure our boisestate.edu and affiliated public websites, social media feeds, online videos, marketing emails and the like are fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards.
Implementing the agreement will support Boise State in its goal of publishing digital content that is fully accessible to individuals with hearing, vision, and manual disabilities and to comply with legal mandates.
The agreement requires the university to identify and remediate any accessibility barriers in our public facing digital content by summer 2023.
Our Digital Accessibility Challenge
While we have all made tremendous strides in our accessibility efforts since 2016, there are many documents and videos throughout our sites that are not accessible to people with disabilities because of formatting issues, lack of transcripts, or missing captions preventing people with disabilities from accessing the content using screen readers or other assistive technologies.
Our public digital content must be accessible for all. Not only is this a legal requirement, it is the right thing for us to do and aligns with the Boise State University mission statement.
We will work closely with departments to identify and implement solutions to make impacted content accessible. However, in some cases, content that cannot be made accessible, or does not have an accessible alternative, may be removed if necessary in order to achieve full compliance with federal law and university policies.
As outlined on Webguide, accessibility is the responsibility of everyone with an active Boise State WordPress account.
Resources and Learning Opportunities
The Office of Information Technology provides several resources and learning opportunities to assist our campus community:
- Descriptions, Captions, Transcripts — What’s Required for Accessible Media?
- Create, Distribute, and Maintain Accessible Documents
- Drop-In Appointments: 1:1 Guidance and Assistance
- Submit Your Document for Accessibility Assessment
- Checklists for Social Media, Email, and Web Content
- Inclusive Design for Social Media and Email
- Social Media Accessibility Toolkit
- Monitoring Your Website with Monsido
- Scheduled Learning Opportunities
- Web Accessibility Information and Resources
The Office of Information Technology is currently auditing and assessing forms, documents, and videos throughout our web environment to determine the extent of existing accessibility barriers, and will contact primary website administrators and content authors to discuss remediation and solutions.
Also, recruiting has begun for a Deputy ADA Coordinator for Digital Accessibility position in the Office of Institutional Compliance and Ethics to coordinate all of the university’s digital accessibility compliance efforts, including testing, software procurement, social media, and other digital communication tools and channels.
Boise State is committed to ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing individuals with disabilities a full and equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the university’s services, programs, and activities in equal measure with people without disabilities.
Issues of non-compliance with university policies 8040 (University Web Policy), 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility), 2080 (Equal Access to Students with Disabilities), and/or 1060 (Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment) that cannot be resolved through discussions with primary site administrators will be referred to the Office of Institutional Compliance and Ethics.
For questions or additional information please contact the Office of Information Technology’s Web Accessibility Team at OITAccessibility@boisestate.edu.