Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility
Claremont McKenna College’s commitment to creating a diverse, multicultural campus community includes many students, faculty, and staff with disabilities. Our goal is to create and sustain an environment that allows people of all abilities to do their best work. Claremont McKenna College is committed to providing equal access to its programs, services and facilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and subsequent amendments. Our compliance guidelines and benchmarks for Website and other Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility are the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content.
The Dean of Students Office is responsible for coordinating disability support services for students, with other College departments assisting in the provision of accommodations for students. The Department of Human Resources works with faculty and staff who qualify for accommodations. Within the Department of Information Technology Services, our Electronic and Information Technology Team Coordinator addresses Website Accessibility/ADA compliance and other Electronic Information Technology Accessibility concerns.
Beginning in 2014, CMC’s General Consul began to research and convene meetings with community members to discover how the college’s web presence could become more accessible to those with disabilities. In AY 2015, this effort was expanded to include consideration of all areas of electronic and information technology. In the summer of 2016, a new committee was established, called the CMC Electronic and Information Technology Team. This stakeholder group consists of campus administrators, faculty, disability services personnel, as well as web management and IT staff. Through their more concerted and focused effort, they have developed a campus-wide Electronics and Information Technology policy and the timeline for a comprehensive Electronic and Information Technology Compliance Program.
The CMC Website
CMC’s Electronic and Information Technology Compliance Program requires that all webpages open to the public on the cmc.edu website that are newly published or hosted by the College beginning January 1, 2017, be "accessible." We determine accessibility according to federal WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards and to the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0, which is a technical specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that identifies how to maximize the accessibility of web content.
Accordingly, all publishers of content to be placed on CMC websites must undergo training in how to produce EIT compliant material. In preparation to meet that requirement, in September 2016, CMC identified those with permission and access to publish content within our web content management systems. In October 2016, CMC will begin a training program for all current and aspiring web editors of the cmc.edu site.
CMC has invested in Siteimprove, a software that has helped us identify non-compliant elements. The software can generate various reports, including information about specific web pages. These reports not only identify problems, they also suggest possible remedies to help web editors bring their content into compliance.
The College has also licensed ilos software to help us as we undergo what will be an extensive process of captioning our legacy and ongoing video content so that all will be rendered ADA/EIT compliant for the hearing-impaired.
Using a multifaceted approach, the College will assist our community editors so that they can prepare accessible material appropriately.
Beginning January 1, 2017, the College will allow only those CMC web editors who have undergone and become certified through our Accessibility Training to retain their access to the content management system. Supervisors will be notified to assign an alternate for their department’s web editing if their assigned editor's permissions have been revoked.
The College will use various software applications to identify problematic pages and alert web publishers of the need to edit their content so that material is brought into compliance with ADA policy.
The College reserves the right to withhold access permissions to systems by repeat offenders. Any CMC web publisher who has undergone training and become certified, yet who repeatedly uploads material not meeting our ADA-compliant standards, may have their access permissions revoked and supervisor notified to assign an alternate for their department’s web editing at the discretion of the Electronic and Information Technology Team Coordinator in consultation with CMC’s General Consul. A web publisher whose permissions have been revoked will have their permissions restored only after additional training and on a trial basis.
Class Materials and Accessibility
By January 2017, when developing classroom and other educational materials for student use, faculty members are expected to ensure that all new pdfs as well as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations—for example, within the Microsoft Office Suite— are accessible according to CMC’s Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility standards. Doing so ensures our procedures are effectively and consistently implemented and supports the College’s policy of inclusion. To assist faculty in this effort , all faculty support staff and Research Institute staff charged with content creation for faculty were provided Accessibility Training during December of 2016.
Any student with a condition that rises to the level of a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations. In some cases, the condition may require additional Electronic and Information Technology accessibility strategies from their faculty members. In such an event, faculty members are expected to cooperate and consult with appropriate staff in the Dean of Students office who will help coordinate a proper response.
In many cases, re-orienting class materials toward greater accessibility can help all students understand and learn better. As just one example, students may not report a problem such as color blindness, believing it to be too minor to report as a disability, and yet they may struggle when trying to interpret and discern details on multicolored charts, or reading and comprehending materials that have been prepared with insufficient color contrast.