Web accessibility removes barriers to electronic information and technology (EIT). Accessibility focuses on all users, including those who use assistive technology, such as screen readers. Web accessibility is making sure a page's code is written in a way to be as clear as possible to someone who may be listening to the page rather than reading it or who may be navigating a page without the use of a mouse.
Accessibility extends to users who have hearing impairment, cognitive impairment, motor impairment, and other kinds of differing abilities.
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.
Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C)
Website 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.
SUNY schools are required to adhere to the New York State policy described below.
New York State
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 This new policy replaced and superseded the previous versions and revisions and became effective immediately.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.
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.