From the Office of the General Counsel
To: All Faculty and Staff
From: Office of the General Counsel
Date: November 9, 2017
Re: Online Accessibility
Dear Faculty and Staff,
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has recently made LSU aware that our online presence may not be fully in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Therefore, the university is working to rectify this situation immediately. President Alexander is empaneling an Online Accessibility Working Group, composed of representatives from across campus, to evaluate all issues, and we will be looking at our online policies to help ensure that LSU is compliant. This effort will range from LSU’s very prominent homepage to individual employee web pages, including other online products such as Workday and Moodle, and any other online services that your department may have purchased or may be maintaining.
In short, if there is an online product related to the university, it will need to be in compliance with OCR requirements.
This could mean changes in how you conduct business in your departments. It also means that anyone involved in purchasing or maintaining online products and web pages will require training in online accessibility compliance. For example, any update to your web page, such as the way you post images and links on your pages, or the way you use headers and numbering systems, can potentially create compliance issues if not done properly. The Division of Strategic Communications and Information Technology Services will soon be reaching out to campus units to offer recommendations for how your college/department can ensure compliance and make sure that our online presence and assets are accessible to all.
Here are the next steps in the accessibility process:
- LSU will conduct an audit of its entire website to identify areas in need of attention
- LSU will provide training to anyone who updates/maintains various web pages within LSU’s website, or other online products
- LSU will develop a plan and a timeline to address any compliance issues and to avoid accessibility issues in the future
Our goal is to ensure that everyone – regardless of any disability they may have – has complete and total access to all of the services and information available through LSU’s online presence.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. This effort will be wide-ranging and will touch every department, but the end results will be fitting with our university’s mission.