The State University of New York at New Paltz is committed to making New Paltz websites and electronic information technology (EIT) resources accessible to all users, including those who have disabilities or are temporarily disabled: this includes students, faculty, staff, and anyone who participants in College sponsored programs and activities. To meet this commitment, New Paltz websites and EIT resources must conform to the SUNY Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Policy (adopted June 2019), as well as the standards and guidelines established in the Final Report and Recommendations of the SUNY Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Committee. All campus personnel who are involved in the procurement, preparation (including content creation), and maintenance of College websites and EIT resources should adhere to the standards and guidelines established in the Final Report, as well as any future revisions or addendums to said policy, standards, and guidelines.
This policy applies to all New Paltz academic and administrative employees and affiliates (CAS and New Paltz Foundation Board) that create and maintain websites and/or utilize EIT resources for the programs and activities of the College.
Refers to the concept that people with disabilities or who are temporarily disabled can independently and in a timely manner can access and use a product or system, including with the benefit of assistive technologies. Assistive technologies include adaptive hardware and/or software and other devices that are used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Disability Resource Center
The Disability Resource Center provides services to students with permanent or temporary disabilities to ensure access to programs and activities in the pursuit of attaining their educational objectives. The philosophy of this office is to encourage independence, to assist students in realizing their academic potential, and to ensure recognition of their abilities – not disabilities – as they become active participants in a diverse and global society. The Disability Resource Center serves as a resource for information about disability and higher education.
Electronic Information Technology (EIT)
Information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. EIT includes, but is not limited to, information resources such as the internet and intranet websites, content delivered in digital form, search engines and databases, learning management systems, classroom technologies; web, computer, and mobile‐based applications allowing for interaction between software and users; and services employing information technology and telecommunications equipment.
New Paltz Website
Any website or web‐based application within the New Paltz (newpaltz.edu) domain and associated subdomains used in the programs or activities of the College.
Office of Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion
The Office of Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion oversees compliance with state and federal anti‐discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The office also oversees the ADA/Section 504 Grievance Procedure for students who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination based on a disability or denied access to services or accommodations that the ADA and/or Section 504 require New Paltz to provide.
SUNY EIT Accessibility Officer
Individual who oversees the ongoing digital accessibility efforts as outlined in the SUNY EIT Accessibility Policy, including the development and oversight of each campus Accessibility Plan.
SUNY New Paltz EIT Accessibility Plan
An overview of ongoing projects to improve or implement accessible practices on the SUNY New Paltz campus in the five areas named in the SUNY EIT Accessibility Policy. This plan was first adopted by the New Paltz Faculty Senate in December 2020.
SUNY EIT Accessibility Policy
A SUNY-wide set of guidelines which delineate and detail the recommendations of the SUNY EIT Accessibility Committee. The policy covers five primary recommendations: appoint a campus EIT Accessibility Officer; create a campus accessibility plan; meet specific action and quality assurance markers; conform to five accessibility standards (websites, digital content, classroom accessibility, library accessibility, and procurement); and ensure access to and utilization of assistive technologies.
New Paltz users are defined as current New Paltz students and applicants for admission; New Paltz staff and faculty; and participants in the College’s programs, activities, and services.
New Paltz has adopted the SUNY Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Policy (adopted June 2019), as well as the standards and guidelines established in the Final Report and Recommendations of the SUNY Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Committee.
In accordance with the SUNY EIT Accessibility Policy and Final Report, SUNY New Paltz has selected an EIT Accessibility Officer and submitted an EIT Accessibility Plan (adopted by the faculty senate in December 2020) to the SUNY Provost Office (December 2020) that will be followed in order to improve or implement accessibility goals.
The policy and the Final Report were created based on the Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.0 Level AA), but it is recognized that SUNY will periodically adopt subsequent versions of WCAG as they are released. The guidelines and success criteria of WCAG Level AA are organized around the following four principles, which lay the foundation for users with disabilities to access and use web content or EIT resources:
- Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
- All personnel responsible for existing New Paltz websites or EIT resources must use good faith efforts, subject to the requirements and exceptions of the applicable laws, to conform with the current version of the SUNY EIT policy, standards, and guidelines.
- All future New Paltz website or EIT resource development and purchases, including development and purchases for major revisions and updates of existing New Paltz websites and technology systems, should conform to the current version of the SUNY EIT policy, standards, and guidelines.
- Vendors seeking to develop or provide websites, web-based applications, and other EIT resources for New Paltz are to demonstrate that their products satisfy the current version of the SUNY EIT policy, standards, and guidelines.
- Each New Paltz website should contain an "Accessibility" notice, which should include contact information for the site’s administrator and steps for reporting accessibility-related questions or concerns.
- Conformance to the current version of the SUNY EIT policy, standards, and guidelines may constitute an undue burden due to the nature of the content, the purpose of the resource, the lack of accessible solutions, or an unreasonably high administrative or financial cost necessary to make the resource meet that goal. However, these difficulties do not relieve College programs or activities from meeting applicable legal obligations to provide reasonable accommodations to Users in regard to access to the content and services provided on New Paltz websites or through EIT resources. Managers of College programs and activities must be prepared to provide content and/or services in a suitable alternative format (e.g., electronic text file or audio description) or manner upon request.
Guidelines and information on best practices are available from the Disability Resource Center and the Office of Instructional Technology.
Responding to Accessibility Issues
Recognizing the ongoing evolution of current web content and technologies, the designated administrator for a particular site, upon being made aware of an accessibility issue on that site, should proceed as follows:
- Acknowledge receipt of the issue in writing (via email or the Information Technology Services (ITS) ticketing system) to the User raising the issue.
- Create an accessibility ticket for recording the issue and resulting action taken.
- Verify that the issue is an authentic accessibility issue.
- Treat all issues as important. Address any time-sensitive need of the User promptly (generally within a period of no greater than two business days), unless technology or work involved requires more effort, in which case the User will be promptly notified in writing of expected time of delivery.
If the administrator, in collaboration with the EIT Accessibility Officer, determines that the information or service provided on the New Paltz Website cannot be made accessible, or that doing so may constitute an undue burden or fundamental alteration, the administrator should use the institution’s Fundamental Alteration Guidelines to confirm the Undue Burden or Fundamental Alteration and work with the Disability Resource Center and others to seek alternative methods for providing the information or service. In the event that an alternative format or service cannot be provided or the user is not satisfied with the results, he or she may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance and Campus Climate/Affirmative Action Officer. For information on how to file a complaint, please visit http://www.newpaltz.edu/ccc/aa_antiharassment.html