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UW-Madison - IT - Web Accessibility Memorandum

Official Printable PDF Surrounding text in italics is not part of the official document.


To: Deans and Directors

From: Melany S. Newby Vice Chancellor for Legal and Executive Affairs, ADA Coordinator; Annie Stunden, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Director, Division of Information Technology

Re: World Wide Web Accessibility Policy

Date: October 22, 2001

In December 2000, UW–Madison developed and adopted a policy concerning World Wide Web Accessibility that demonstrated the University’s commitment to making information and communications technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. The policy was based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines as the standard for World Wide Web accessibility. UW–Madison continues to strive to achieve the goals of the World Wide Web Consortium.

In June 2001, the Federal Rehabilitation Act’s Section 508 standards were established as the level of compliance required for institutions receiving federal funding. These standards, consistent with W3C’s, provide achievable, well documented guidelines for implementation. The attached, updated UW–Madison World Wide Web Accessibility Policy therefore endorses compliance with the Federal Rehabilitation Act’s Section 508 standards, specifically subsections 1194.1 through 1194.22 and 1194.31. Web sites may still be developed and presented using the W3C guidelines; the Section 508 standards establish the threshold or minimum for compliance. The updated policy also sets forth a method for identifying portions of current Web sites to be brought into compliance as a priority, based on number of “hits” or specific requests for access.

Compliance with the Federal Rehabilitation Act’s Section 508 standards should help the University achieve the goal of ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to the increasing amount of Web-based material originating on our campus. There is a strong linkage between the required standards and the development of current technologies that support compliance with these standards.

The updated policy supports the University’s effective use of emerging technologies in instruction; revised time-lines help make accessible the information residing on legacy pages. Our success requires a continual coordination of programmatic needs, technology, and services. The policy will therefore be reviewed regularly to ensure its effectiveness in an environment of rapidly changing technology.

Information about training, consulting, and technological tools can be found at (Web Accessibility Resources) as well as definitions and resources related to the Federal Rehabilitation Act–Section 508 and W3C.

Where compliance is not possible or may require extraordinary measures, exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Your inquiries and requests for assistance are welcomed.

Surrounding text in italics is not part of the official document.


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IT Policy Glossary –
Accessibility Policy -
Accessibility Procedures -
Accessibility Memorandum -

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Created2016-01-16 21:26:17Updated2023-03-29 12:58:53
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