Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR LECOM.edu

INTENT
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) homepage located at https://lecom.edu is the College’s official site on the World Wide Web and an important means for communicating information efficiently and effectively with College constituencies, both internal and external. Use of the web by the general public and in particular by prospective and current students is growing, and it is important for the College to have an effective presence to support its mission. Individual departments and offices are encouraged to review and submit updated content for their relevant web pages, especially those designed and targeted for recruiting and retaining students; however, accessibility to the site requires that departments and offices that place information on the College’s web site exercise a high degree of responsibility. The intent of this policy is to define the parameters for creating and publishing information on the College’s web site, while maintaining WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines.

 DEFINITIONS

  • Template – Web pages have been created with many of the elements already in place. The web templates regulate the use of fonts, colors, graphics, and other design elements to ensure consistency and accessibility guidelines across the entire website. Website content editors will only need to fill in the content related to the page being updated.
  • Server – in this context, a computer used to house websites which are accessed using a web browser.”
  • Homepage – https://lecom.edu.
  • Webpage – a file containing hypertext markup language, interpreted by web browsers for display on computers and other devices.
  • Website Developer – individual(s) responsible for creating and maintaining the code and troubleshooting all issues on the website.
  • Website Content Editor – individual(s) responsible for updating the text-based information on the website with access to the content management system (CMS).
  • Website Content Reviewer – individual(s) responsible for creating the text-based information, providing it to the Content Editor for placement on the website, and for reviewing website content to assure its accuracy and immediacy (Reviewers may be LECOM administrators or employees responsible for various college programs).

POLICY
The LECOM website serves as a gateway to information maintained by the College. The College’s website is managed by the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department which handles all webmaster functions and corrects any technical and connectivity issues. The College’s website is organized to provide relevant information by categories. The categories and their descriptions are as follows:

  • Category I – LECOM Homepage. The front facing page for the website, lecom.edu
  • Category II – Academic Programs. These pages are related to the academic programs offered at LECOM.
  • Category III – Admissions. These pages are related to the admissions policies, entrance requirements and financial aid information necessary to attend a program offered at LECOM.
  • Category IV – General College Resources. These pages are related to information about the institution as well as post-graduate, alumni and LECOM news.

COMPLIANCE
LECOM is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to all users, including people with disabilities.  This website complies with best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA) of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI).

A sampling of accessibility features included on the site are:

  • Links and headings are defined to aid in page navigation.
  • Alternative text details for appropriate images and other non-text elements.
  • Structural markup is used appropriately to indicate headings, paragraphs and lists to aid in page comprehension and navigation.
  • Form labels are programmatically associated with form fields.
  • Data cells are associated in a data table with their headers.
  • Embedded documents and multimedia have been made accessible.
  • Responsive design techniques have been used to optimize the experience for users who access the site and different screen resolutions and magnification levels.

LECOM has designed all of its web pages to be compatible with the most common web browsers and accessibility software, including latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, physical assistive technology devices, and screen readers such as JAWS for Windows, NVaccess, Apple VoiceOver and Android Talkback.  It is the responsibility of the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department and the department appointed website developer to ensure the website remains accessible to all users.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is not responsible for webpages sponsored and maintained solely by individual students or College employees. The following notice “This site is not maintained nor endorsed by the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)” must be displayed in the footer of the individual website as well as on any “about” pages which describe the purpose and ownership of the individual website.

 RESPONSIBILITIES FOR UPDATING INFORMATION
The LECOM Communications and Marketing Department is responsible for maintaining the information located on the website.  Website content reviewers are expected to be LECOM faculty or staff, designated by each department.  LECOM provides website accessibility training for these individuals. It is the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department’s responsibility for updating each web page with current information. Designated website content reviewers must review and submit updated content for their assigned webpages to the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department at least twice a year or more frequently when changes are needed.

LOGO STANDARDS AND GRAPHIC
Logos and other graphic elements designed to promote the LECOM image are to follow strict standards as established by policy and publication style guidelines. A library of photos and graphics is maintained by the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department. Use of non-LECOM logos or graphics must be approved by the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department.

WEBPAGE UPDATE REQUEST
When requesting website updates, website content reviewers must follow this procedure:

  • All requested updates must be sent via email to the LECOM Communications and Marketing Department in a Microsoft Word document.
  • Each update request should be sent as a separate Word document. In other words, if a reviewer intends to request updates to five websites, the reviewer should send five separate Word documents, each specifying the changes to that particular website.
  • The filename of the Word document must be given the name of the website’s title (e.g. “School of Dental Medicine Homepage”).
  • At the top of the Word document, place the URL for the page to be updated (e.g. https://lecom.edu/academics/school-of-dental-medicine. Having the URL to the exact page will help expedite the process.
  • Below the URL, place the content of the entire webpage and not just the new/updated content. The content of the entire webpage must appear on that Word document and be sent with the requested changes.
  • In the Word document, highlight the new/updated content in yellow.
  • If there are images to be placed on the page, the reviewer must send them via email as separate attachments. Images should not be embedded in Word documents or they will be rejected.
  • In the Word document, to designate the placement of an image, the reviewer should place the tag <<INSERT IMAGE FILENAME…>> where they want the image to go (where the FILENAME is replaced with the actual name of the file of the image.
    • Include an image description that conveys the meaning of the image and a short title that can be used as an Alt Tag (alternative text to tell Web site viewers the nature or contents of an image. The alt text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image.

WEB SERVER
To ensure security, stability, and consistency for accessing the College website, webpages within lecom.edu and other official, LECOM websites will only be placed on the official LECOM web server.  Only the designated website developer will have access to that server and is responsible for maintaining the functionality of the site.

THIRD PARTY VENDORS
To ensure security, stability, and consistency for accessing the College website, webpages within lecom.edu and other official, LECOM websites, the College, to the best of its ability, will require accessibility compliance from all third party vendors who may serve as website developers or provide software or plug-ins for use by LECOM website developers and website content editors.  Vendors shall provide proof of website accessibility training compliance for their products and services.

FUNDAMENTAL ALTERATION AND UNDUE BURDEN
LECOM will make requested modifications to improve web accessibility unless such requested modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the website or would constitute an undue burden. A “fundamental alteration” exists when implementing the requested modification would change the essential nature or purpose of the website or its functionality. An “undue burden” exists when implementing the requested modification requires such significant difficulty or expense that it is not justified in light of the institution’s resources and commitments. When a requested modification constitutes a fundamental alteration or undue burden, LECOM will provide equally effective alternative access to that web content and/or function.

 

Approved By: Pierre Bellicini, Institutional Director of Communications and Marketing

 

Review Date: July 19, 2018

 

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