New policy: Yale websites should be accessible to those with disabilities

A man using a refreshable braille display terminal.
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Yale has adopted a new policy requiring university websites and web applications to be accessible to people with disabilities.

The Web Accessibility Policy (officially Policy 1605) was announced on Jan. 24 by Provost Ben Polak in an email to the campus community. It is effective March 1, formalizing a practice that has been in effect for several years.

Yale University is committed to making information, programs and activities on its websites and web applications accessible to people with disabilities,” wrote Polak. “The university recognizes that websites and web-based applications are integral to the academic and administrative work of the university. This policy serves to address the needs of individuals with disabilities who wish to use the university’s websites and web-based applications to participate in university programs and activities and/or conduct university business.”

The new policy requires staff, faculty, and students to procure, develop, and modify Yale websites so that they are accessible to people with disabilities — be they visual, cognitive, learning, neurological, auditory, physical, or speech disabilities.

For more information on what the accessibility policy means to you, visit the Usability & Web Accessibility site. In addition to Frequently Asked Questions, the site features the following sections:

  • Introduction to Accessibility, which offers information about the types of disabilities and how they impact Web use, as well as an introduction to the assistive technologies used by people with certain disabilities.
  • Testing for Accessibility, which includes information on conducting an accessibility audit, maintaining accessible content, finding resources for building and testing accessible code, and more.
  • Learning Accessibility, which offers an overview of the accessibility standard adopted by Yale, outlines accessibility concepts and guidelines, and lists the resources available to campus designers, developers, and content editors.
  • Working with Vendors which presents resources for ensuring products and services from outside vendors meet Yale’s accessibility standards.

In February, Yale will host Web Accessibility Policy Information Sessions that will provide an overview of the new policy and procedures, explain the roles and responsibilities for improving web accessibility, and outline the resources available for purchasers, content creators, developers, and others. Registration for the Web Accessibility Policy Information Sessions is available online. 

Campus & Community