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.
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 This new policy replaced and superseded the previous versions and revisions and became effective immediately.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.
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.)
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. Our Web Content Policy requires all FIT websites and associated websites to meet a minimum accessiblity standard. This includes:
- the primary FIT website (this site)
- WordPress sites and blogs hosted on the fitnyc.edu domain
- sites created using grants awarded to FIT and FIT employees
- sites created by students, staff, or faculty members for projects on behalf of FIT (such as those for exhibitions or events)
- sites on the fitnyc.edu domain that are built using Google Sites
- student publication sites hosted on the fitnyc.edu domain
- legacy sites hosted on the sites.fitnyc.edu server
Accessibility laws and policies also include content and information for prospective and current FIT students built using third-party tools and/or appearing on third-party platforms and sites managed by FIT employees:
- documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs
- portals used for applications and student activity management
- software used for scheduling appointments
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 2018. There are three levels of WCAG: A, AA, and AAA, with AAA being the highest level of compliance.
The latest version, WCAG 2.1, was published in June 2018, and WCAG 2.2 is scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2023. Developers are encouraged to incorporate the latest WCAG version when creating new sites and content.