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4 minutes

What are the legal requirements?

Creating accessible web content is a legal requirement and university policy.

In this section:

  • What are the federal requirements for accessible content?
  • What are the university policies for accessible content?

Federal Legislation and University Policy

Federal Legislation

Federal Legislation comes from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that became law in 1993. Additional amendments to the ADA were passed in 2008.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any Federal program or activity…”

To learn more about Section 504 visit “What is Section 504?” (opens in a new window)

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

“Federal agencies (including federal contractors) must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.”

To learn more about Section 508 visit “IT Accessibility Laws and Policies” (opens in a new window)

Americans with Disabilities Act

“…prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”

To learn more about the ADA visit “ADA National Network” (opens in a new window)

University Policy

University Policies 8040, 8140, and 1075 relate specifically to accessibility.

Policy 1075 on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of a Disability

Policy 1075 (opens in a new window) states that the university and all members of the faculty and staff will operate its programs, activities, and services to ensure that no individuals with disabilities will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any such program, activity, or service solely because of their disability.

Policy 8040 on University Web Pages and Electronic Publications

Policy 8040 (opens in a new window) states that all web pages will comply with Office of Compliance and Ethics standards on accessibility.

Policy 8140 on IT Accessibility

Policy 8140 (opens in a new window) states that the University seeks to deploy information technology that is designed, developed, or procured with accessibility in mind. To this end, electronic information must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA Success Criteria.


Next, you’ll learn about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and how they relate to web accessibility.