Policies and Standards

Schools that receive public funding are subject to guidelines determined by their respective state legislatures and the federal government. Schools that are part of larger systems may also be subject to additional guidelines. FIT follows the guidelines, rules, and policies of the State University of New York System, the State of New York, and the United States Federal Government.

SUNY schools are required to adhere to the New York State policy described below.

» SUNY System-Wide Web Accessibility Effort
» SUNY Electronic Information and Technology Accessibility Policy (passed June 2019)

On May 17, 2010, the New York State Office for Technology released a revised policy (NYS-P08-005), entitled "Accessibility of Web-Based Information and Applications." This new policy replaced and superseded the previous versions and revisions and became effective immediately. The policy requires all New York State agencies, which includes FIT, to provide universally accessible websites to enable persons with disabilities to access information.

» Accessibility of Web-Based Information and Applications Compliance Reporting

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 also requires that U.S. programs and services be accessible to individuals with disabilities. A 1996 Department of Justice ruling makes it clear that ADA accessibility requirements apply to internet resources.

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance; Section 504 works together with the ADA and IDEA to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, and unequal treatment in schools, jobs, and the community. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others. On January 18, 2017 the Access Board issued a final rule that updates accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The rule jointly updates and reorganizes the Section 508 standards to converge with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a globally recognized voluntary consensus standard for web content and ICT. (WCAG information is at the bottom of this webpage.)

» Website Accessibility Under Title II of the ADA 
» Overview of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and 508)

FIT's Commitment to Web Accessibility

The Web Communications Team works diligently to ensure the accessibility of the FIT website. Problems with accessibility can be reported by clicking on the link in the footer of every page on this website.

» Related Policy: Web Content

Where do the guidelines come from?

Website accessibility guidelines are published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. The most recent standard is WCAG 2.0, which was first recommended by W3C in 2008 and has undergone revision through 2014. There are three levels of WCAG 2.0: A, AA, and AAA, with AAA being the highest level of compliance.

An update, WCAG 2.1, was published in June 2018, but does not supercede WCAG 2.0. Developers are encouraged to incorporate 2.1 when creating new sites and content, but U.S. government does not yet require it. 

» Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and 2.1