The ATI’s mission is to ensure members of the Mason community are afforded equivalent access to the institution’s information and communications technology resources.
This is accomplished by working collaboratively with CDE, ITS, the Stearns Center, University Counsel, academic and administrative departments/units, faculty, as well as library personnel to develop, coordinate, and implement a university-wide technology accessibility plan that ensures conformity with the technical standards outlined in WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This includes training and technical assistance regarding the appropriate use of assistive technology, web compliance, document/media accessibility, procurement, and software applications testing. Additionally, we coordinate with DS and the ADA Coordinator to address the technology accommodation needs of students, staff, and faculty with disabilities.
Below is a listing of the relevant disability laws and regulations impacting information and communications technology nationally, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and at Mason:
The Commonwealth of Virginia Accessibility Laws & Regulations
The purpose of the Information Technology Access Act § 2.2-3500 through § 2.2-3504 of the Code of Virginia opens a new window is to ensure that all covered entities shall conduct themselves in accordance with the following principles: (i) individuals who are blind or visually impaired have the right to full participation in the life of the Commonwealth, including the use of advanced technology that is provided by such covered entities for use by employees, program participants, and members of the general public, and (ii) technology purchased in whole or in part with funds provided by the Commonwealth to be used for the creation, storage, retrieval, or dissemination of information and intended for use by employees, program participants, and members of the general public shall be adaptable for access by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The implementation of nonvisual access technology under this chapter shall be determined on a case-by-case basis as the need arises.
Federal Disability Laws & Regulations
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) opens a new window updates federal communications law to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications. The CVAA makes sure that accessibility laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s are brought up to date with 21st century technologies, including new digital, broadband, and mobile innovations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) opens a new window prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 opens a new window is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public or private, that receive federal financial assistance. This law conforms to the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). Section 504 does not provide funding for special education or related services, but it does permit the federal government to take funding away from programs that do not comply with the law.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act opens a new window was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.
- Policy 1201: Non-Discrimination Policy opens a new window
- Policy 1203: Non-Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation on the Basis of Disability opens a new window
- Policy 1307: Procurement and/or Development of Administrative Systems/Applications opens a new window
- Policy 1308: University Information Technology Accessibility opens a new window