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Staff Policy D-507.00
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Operations

Electronic & Information Technology Accessibility Policy

Northwestern Michigan College ("NMC") seeks to ensure our electronic and information technology conforms to success criteria of W3C WAI WCAG as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

This policy applies to all websites, software, and digital content created and used by NMC to conduct organizational business or academic activities, and it recognizes three types to be covered:

  1. Websites, software, and digital content developed in-house;
  2. Purchased and licensed software, and third-party websites, including both paid and non-paid services;
  3. Supplemental tools and services not known at time of software/service selection or not part of the selection decision.

This policy does not apply to web pages published by students, employees, or non-university organizations that are hosted by NMC, and that are not used to conduct core NMC business or academic activities.

All new web pages, software, and digital content created or edited in-house must comply with the requirements set forth in the WCAG accessibility standards linked above. Existing web pages will be reviewed and updated per a review plan and schedule, as submitted to NMC's ADA Coordinator. Voluntary compliance with accessibility standards is encouraged for all websites not covered by this policy.

Software and services purchased and licensed, as well as third-party websites, must be selected with accessibility as one of the primary criteria. When possible, the provider will be asked to confirm compliance with accessibility standards.

Supplemental materials intended for use in the classroom will be evaluated for accessibility, and their use approved accordingly. Refresher accessibility training will be provided on an annual basis, and training for new website content editors will be provided on an as-needed basis.

Exceptions to ADA compliance accessibility standards must be submitted via print or email to the ADA Coordinator with details as to why compliance cannot be obtained (e.g., a hosted system over which we have little control, yet which service we require). Exceptions must include method(s) to make content available to individuals with disabilities in an effective manner.

Per NMC's "Notice of Non-Discrimination" (https://www.nmc.edu/about/policies/non-discrimination/)

"Complaints or inquiries related to this policy shall be directed to Vice President of Finance and Administration, 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan (231) 995-1045; Director of Human Resources, 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan (231) 995-1026; and the Disability Support Services Specialist, 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan (231) 995-1929."

NMC will provide an online complaint form through their web sites.

NMC web pages in violation of this policy shall be referred to NMC's ADA Coordinator. Remediation shall include revision of content in violation of accessibility standards, removal of content from NMC web sites, or a notice of non-compliance until remediation is complete.

The Vice President for Student Services and Technologies, in conjunction with the appropriate faculty and staff, is responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Adopted January 18, 2019
Section Navigation Academic Programs