To:      Executive Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments and Offices


From:  Alysa Christmas Rollock

          Vice President for Ethics and Compliance


Date:   May 10, 2017


Re:      System-wide Standard on Electronic Information, Technology and Communication (S-5)


As part of the University’s commitment to ensuring equal access to information for all its constituencies, the Executive Policy Review Group approved a system-wide standard on Electronic Information, Communication, and Technology Accessibility (S-5) to be effective June 1, 2017. You may have seen the announcement in Purdue Today on May 4.

The new system-wide standard, which replaces the current policy on web accessibility, provides updated guidance to clarify the University’s responsibility for compliance with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These responsibilities include:

  1. Conformance with the level AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 for all electronic information, communication, and technology, unless federal or state law applicable to the University provides greater protections.
  2. Specific requirements for applicable media types, such as webpages; instructional materials; documents; videos; electronic media; software, hardware and IT systems; and procurement/purchases.

Since the web accessibility policy went into effect in 2010, the expectation has been that the University would comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding accessibility of electronic information in all its forms. The new system-wide standard better reflects this expectation, as noted in item 2 above.

The following offices are able to assist departments, faculty, and staff on each campus with questions about the standard.

  1. The Office of Institutional Equity is responsible for administering the system-wide standard and answering questions.
  2. Each campus has a designated Equal Opportunity Compliance Officer to serve as the point person for accessibility concerns, audits, and requests for exceptions.

Information regarding training opportunities and resources will be forthcoming. Please take a moment to review the system-wide standard on Electronic Information, Communication, and Technology Accessibility (S-5) and the associated FAQs