EIR Accessibility Compliance Plan
See specific information about Web Accessibility.
The Texas A&M University Health Science Center strives to provide everyone equal access and opportunity to discover, communicate, and apply knowledge and abilities. Ours is a culture of inclusiveness, and we want everyone, including those with disabilities, to be able to access information easily.
This plan provides information for Texas A&M Health Science Center personnel to aid and ensure compliance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC) web specifications and standards and electronic and information resource (EIR) requirements regarding accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
As defined in Title 1 of Texas Administrative Code Chapter 213, electronic and information resources include "information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, duplication, or delivery of data or information." The term includes but is not limited to "telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines."
In practical terms, ElR utilized at the Texas A&M Health Science Center include, but are not limited to:
- Software applications and operating systems
- Websites, including both internet and intranet
- Telecommunications products
- Video and multimedia products
- Self-contained, closed products, such as copiers, printers and fax machines
- Desktop and portable computers
- Audio and video recordings
- Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents
Unless an exception is approved by the Texas A&M Health Science Center's Executive Vice President or designee, or a specific technology is exempted by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), all new or changed webpages and web content and all other EIR goods and services, developed, procured or significantly changed by the Texas A&M Health Science Center and its agents, must comply with the standards and specifications of 1 TAC §206 and 1 TAC §213.
These standards, along with federal standards as defined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 apply to EIR technology developed, procured, maintained or used by the Texas A&M Health Science Center directly, or by a third party, acting as an agent of, or on behalf of, the university, or through a procured services contract (i.e., vendor contract); and, EIR services provided through hosted or managed services contracts.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center is committed to achieving and improving accessibility and to fully meeting compliance requirements. Texas A&M Health Science Center personnel in areas where EIR development and/or procurement may occur share responsibility for ensuring that accessibility-related requirements are met. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) provides a central location for statewide accessibility information and Texas A&M Health Science Center personnel are encouraged to utilize the resources available.
Important note: Departments within our colleges are ultimately responsible for the accessibility of electronic products produced or purchased by their personnel or agents.
Keys to compliance include:
- Support from central administration, academic deans and component stakeholders
- An EIR accessibility coordinator to serve as the point person for the initiative
- Centralized website design and remediation efforts, including testing and validation tools
- Designated academic liaisons and technical specialists at component levels to coordinate departmental efforts
- Procurement processes that incorporate compliance with applicable accessibility standards, including vendor Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) when considering new development and procurement
- Dissemination of information and accessibility training opportunities
- A network of accessibility advocates to aid in acceptance of best practices
Further, we will review EIR development and procurement completed since 09/01/06 that is therefore subject to requirements of 1 TAC Chapters 206 and 213, assess compliance, and establish priorities for bringing any non-compliant resources into compliance as funds and time allow. We will bring any non-compliant older Web content and other EIR not currently subject to the requirements of 1 TAC Chapters 206 and 213 into compliance (a) as they become subject to the requirements because significant change or replacement is required or (b) as part of a global strategy to achieve full compliance as funds and time allow.
If after careful evaluation of all available resources and options it is determined that compliance with technical accessibility standards is not possible due to unavailability of alternative products or services, or if compliance with technical accessibility standards would impose a significant difficulty or expense to the Texas A&M Health Science Center, an exception request can be initiated by personnel at Texas A&M Health Science Center components by filling out the electronic Accessibility Exception Request Form.
Requests must include a description of the accessibility issue, justification for exception, plan for alternate means of access and a date of expiration. An exception can be approved by the Office of the Executive Vice President & CEO, after first being routed through the EIR Accessibility Coordinator and Chief Information Officer (CIO).
The Texas A&M Health Science Center EIR accessibility coordinator (EIRAC) is the central point of contact concerning accessibility issues and solutions for our institution's electronic and information resources. The EIRAC facilitates a response to concerns, complaints, reported issues, DIR surveys, and EIR Accessibility Exception Requests, and provides or arranges consulting services on matters related to accessibility.
The EIRAC works with staff in colleges and business areas responsible for our institution’s EIR. Each college and relevant business area should designate an EIR accessibility liaison who collaborates with the EIRAC and also helps appropriate staff in their area develop and maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to comply with EIR accessibility requirements. The EIRAC serves in a coordinating and facilitating role, which excludes product selection and accessibility testing. Those functions are the responsibility of departments acquiring EIR and should involve the respective EIR accessibility liaison.