Digital Accessibility Policy
Tufts University is committed to providing a digital environment that is accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities. Digital environments include, but are not limited to, information technologies, webpages, web-based applications, online instructional content, services, and resources. Tufts’ commitment to digital accessibility is grounded not only in principles of equity and inclusion, but also in the knowledge that accessible content enhances usability for everyone.
This policy applies to all university digital environments acquired, adopted, updated, or developed after April 1, 2019 that conduct university academic, student and business activities. The policy applies to:
- Active webpages or digital content launched after April 1, 2019
- Web-based applications and non-web software acquired or renewed after April 1, 2019.
- Legacy webpages or digital content that is updated or modified after April 1, 2019.
- Archived webpages or digital content requested by and made available to a user.
The following do not fall under the scope of this policy:
- Individual webpages published by students, employees or non-university organizations that are not hosted by the university and do not conduct university academic, student or business activities are outside the scope of this policy, however compliance with accessibility guidelines is highly recommended.
- Single-instance, specialized software or individual productivity software purchased for individual use and is not required for use by anyone other than the requestor.
The university is committed to ensuring equal access for all people engaging with Tufts digital content. Tufts requires all digital content to be compliant with:
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §794d)
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Levels A and AA.
Statement of Accessibility
All webpages and web-based applications must display in a consistent location (e.g., menu or text in the banner or footer) an accessibility statement or link to this policy, and provide contact information.to referring to a commitment to accessibility by the university, college, department, program or unit. In addition, each page must have a link allowing users to contact the designated responsible position or positions within a college, department, program, or help desk (instead of individuals, who often change positions or duties).
“The [name of department or unit] is committed to making its digital environment accessible to all users, and welcomes comments or suggestions on access improvements. Please send comments or suggestions on accessibility to the [position to contact].”
Exceptions to this policy may be granted in certain limited circumstances. In order to be considered for an exception the request must meet one of the following criteria, as defined by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Revised). Units seeking an exception to this policy must submit a Digital Accessibility Policy: Exception Request form to Chris Sedore, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, in consultation with the Office of University Counsel.
Not Technically Possible
When full compliance with accessibility standards is not technically possible.
- Virtual or augmented reality media for which full compliance is not yet fully supported.
- A live media stream on a social media platform that does not yet support live captions.
When bringing the content, product, or service into compliance would fundamentally alter the program or service.
- A listening comprehension exam for a foreign language class does not provide closed captions because it would fundamentally alter the exam.
Not Commercially Available
An accessible product which meets the business requirements is not commercially available.
- While there are many 3D modeling products on the market, none are fully compliant.
- In order to maintain accreditation a professional school must prepare students to use industry standard software that is not compliant. There is no alternative that meets the curricular need.
When providing an accessible digital product or service would result in an undue financial or administrative burden. Requirements for demonstrating undue burden are taken within the context of the university as a whole, thus making this criterion extremely difficult to meet.