Accessibility Update (January 14, 2019)
The UH ITS Site License Office is now providing licenses for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to all UH faculty and staff. Please go to the ITS Site License Office page for more information on the Acrobat Pro DC licenses, including how to request a license.
In addition, Adobe is providing a webinar series on PDF accessibility. There are several upcoming webinars that may be of interest to those working with PDFs, so please check out Adobe’s schedule of upcoming events.
Accessibility Update (December 12, 2018)
Online Accessibility Training
UH ITS has pulled together a number of recommended online accessibility training resources (opens in a new window).
The online training resources includes training videos through Lynda.com. Faculty and staff systemwide can obtain a free account to access Lynda.com by going to the ITS Site License Office.
Our systemwide Siteimprove license comes with access to Siteimprove Academy, a comprehensive e-learning hub for courses about accessibility, analytics, SEO, and more. To get started with Siteimprove Academy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to create an account.
Recordings of the previously held accessibility training sessions in October are available online:
10/3/2018 Siteimprove Training
More Siteimprove resources are available at: https://www.hawaii.edu/its/siteimprove
10/10/2018 Adobe PDF Training
More information about these trainings may be found at: https://www.hawaii.edu/its/adobetraining
10/11/2018 Cyxtera Training
More information about this training may be found at: https://www.hawaii.edu/its/cyxteratraining
Adobe Acrobat DC Licenses
Licenses for Adobe Acrobat DC will be available soon for all UH System faculty and staff. Another announcement will be made with more details once the licenses are available.
Accessibility Update (September 29, 2018)
UH ITS has coordinated accessibility training sessions led by Siteimprove, Adobe, and Cyxtera. The following sessions are available to UH system faculty and staff.
Siteimprove, a WCAG 2.0 compliancy optimization platform, training sessions on October 3, 2018 included:
- Working in Siteimprove: 10:00am-11:30am
- Accessibility Training: 1:00pm-2:30pm
For more information on the Siteimprove training sessions, please visit:
Adobe PDF accessibility training on October 10, 2018 included:
- Introductory PDF Accessibility Training: 9:00am-12:00pm (Intro PDF Session Description)
- Advanced PDF Accessibility Training: 1:00pm-4:00pm (Advanced PDF Session Description)
For more information on the Adobe training sessions, please visit:
Cyxtera training sessions conducted on October 11, 2018 at Kuykendall Hall, Room 201 from 9:00am-11:30am, included the following topics:
- Legal Introduction to Web & IT Accessibility
- Practical Introduction to Web Accessibility and WCAG
- A Four-Part Simple Approach to Web and IT Accessibility
The Cyxtera session recording will be made available following open captioning on the following page: https://www.hawaii.edu/its/cyxteratraining/
Accessibility Update (September 7, 2018)
Siteimprove is now available to all campuses and units to leverage for website accessibility and content scanning. Siteimprove administrators have been identified on each campus to help facilitate access to Siteimprove and the reports generated by the scans. Two rounds of administrator training have been completed, on July 31st and August 28th, and additional training sessions are being planned for October 3rd when Siteimprove representatives will be in Hawaii. Requests for assistance with getting a UH website setup for scanning by Siteimprove can be sent to email@example.com.
UH is continuing to work out and refine our approach to achieve the necessary compliance goals. As a reminder, please coordinate efforts with ITS to help ensure consistency with other UH units.
UH will approach compliance with the VRA in a systematic and coordinated manner. It is important not to make or take any rash or forced steps that might set back our systemwide efforts, including creating unintended consequences such as the ad hoc removal of resources or imposing unreasonable policies on content creation. It is critical that the university community take a rational approach to compliance and ensure that any policies and changes to policies are properly vetted.
Accessibility Update (July 20, 2018)
Thank you to all of the participants at our annual IT All Campus Workshop. The accessibility training track sessions delivered by Tom Conway (UHM-CDS) were well attended. ITS will be scheduling additional training sessions along with updates on deployment of software tools and guidelines.
All UH content creators, managers and owners are reminded that we should continue to take a rational and coordinated approach to both existing and new content. Ad hoc actions and the imposition of unreasonable guidance on content remediation and creation do not help us. One of the important elements of the VRA is paragraph 3:
Undue Burden and Fundamental Alteration. This agreement does not require the University to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where the University can demonstrate compliance would result in such an alteration or burden, the University will ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by the University.
It is important that as a part of our systemwide assessment, we can identify and inventory the online content where we can establish and demonstrate the requisite burden. Content owners and creators should also be aware that UH remains responsible for providing the benefits or services to the maximum extent possible.
We do expect to fully deploy our set of assessment tools, including the Siteimprove service, by the end of July. Administrators should already be in conversations with Mitch Ochi to coordinate access and training; the initial training course for Siteimprove administrators will be held on July 31st.
UH Commitment to ADA Compliance Reaffirmed (July 9, 2018)
As a matter of equity and diversity, the University of Hawai’i (UH) stands committed to ensuring that campus computing and information resources are accessible to disabled students, faculty and staff. Accessibility of our services has been a longstanding requirement under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; web accessibility standards are newer, but part of our accessibility obligations and commitment.
Voluntary Resolution Agreement
In the context of an examination of our compliance across the UH System, on May 15, 2018, the UH entered into a voluntary resolution agreement (VRA) with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. The full text of the VRA is available at https://www.hawaii.edu/access/resources/uhvra/. Additional information relating to our compliance efforts, including current guidelines, will be available at https://www.hawaii.edu/access/resources/vra and will be continually updated there.
The following summarizes key provisions, all of which are consistent with existing federal law.
- New Online Content and Functionality. UH agrees that by May 1, 2019, it will establish a plan to ensure that all new online content and functionality developed, procured, or used after the date of this agreement will be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. The plan will include any staff training that may be necessary.
- Current Online Content and Functionality. UH agrees that by May 3, 2021, it will: develop a strategy for identifying inaccessible content and functionality for individuals with disabilities; provide notice to persons with disabilities regarding how to request access to online information or functionality; and, develop a process to ensure that, upon request, inaccessible content and functionality will be made accessible in an expedient manner.
- Undue Burden and Fundamental Alteration. The agreement does not require UH to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program or activity, or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where UH demonstrates that compliance would result in such an alteration or burden, UH will ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals with disabilities receive the benefits or services provided by UH.
The VRA includes definitions, reporting requirements and other related provisions.
Compliance Steps Underway
UH Information Technology Services (ITS) is the technical lead for the UH System in establishing the required guidelines, training, outreach, and ensuring the availability of necessary assessment and remediation tools to support the above requirements across the university system. Work completed to date and planned includes:
- New Online Content and Functionality. ITS has begun work with an initial group of representative content creators, including the UH Mānoa Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS), to draft guidelines for the creation of new online content, including recommended training and tools for producing accessible content that will be acquired by the UH System for use across all campuses. ITS and CDS have been working to test and refine some of the content creation training to be provided across all campuses.
- Current Online Content and Functionality. ITS has completed procurement of an unrestricted use, systemwide license for the Siteimprove tool, to support the identification and diagnosis of web content that is not compliant with applicable accessibility guidelines. Siteimprove is now being configured so that all campuses will have access to the tool to provide accessibility assessments for all faculty and staff. In addition to providing diagnostics to identify non-compliance issues with online content, the Siteimprove tool will help UH responsibly monitor overall compliance efforts.
ITS will establish both in-house and external resources to assist campuses in their compliance efforts. ITS and Office of the University General Counsel (OGC) will coordinate any requests for technical assistance from OCR, and the submittal of all reports required under the VRA.
Once the tools, training, and resource requirements are identified, chancellors will be consulted on the best method to resource and finance the costs necessary to ensure compliance with federal law, in accord with the VRA commitments.
What You Can Do Starting Now
UH must approach our compliance with the law and the VRA in a systematic manner. It is not necessary to immediately remove all non-compliant content at this time, nor should individuals issue their own unauthorized interpretations of the law or the VRA to their colleagues without first checking with ITS and OGC.
We are aware from preliminary reviews that the most common causes of non-compliant online sites are the use within web sites of PDF files that cannot be read by screen reading software, the failure to “tag” images, and the use of uncaptioned videos. Many of these have straightforward remedies available. Tools and approaches will be identified and made available as part of our work to establish the plan for new online content as well as existing content, and to provide support across the UH system.
In the meantime, anyone who is creating or updating web content can take the following easy steps to ensure that their web content is accessible:
- When creating content from Microsoft Office, use the built-in Accessibility Checker (included in Office 2013 and 2016) to find and address accessibility issues. See more tips on creating accessible documents at:
- Be sure that all images and graphics included on websites are tagged with alternate text, and videos inserted into web content are properly captioned.
Any questions relating to our plans and next steps may be directed to the Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer at (808) 956-3501 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.