Web Accessibility

Overview

Introduction

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is committed to providing access to all individuals, disabled or not, who are seeking information on its websites. To provide this information, MUSC is encouraging its site designers and content contributors to comply with a set of accessibility guidelines.

Accessible Web design provides benefits to both those using assistive technology, as well as others. It provides benefit to users with text-based browsers, low-end processors, slow modem connections, or users who do not have state-of-the-art computer equipment. It also allows for easier access to the Internet via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The Web Accessibility Guidelines, as defined in this document, are an effort to make MUSC’s websites and pages more accessible to not only those with disabilities, but any person who visits or interacts with its websites. The guidelines are to assist those who are responsible for publishing content on any MUSC Web page comply with Section 508.

Section 508

In 1998, the United States Congress amended Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require agencies receiving federal funding to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities (whether they are employees of said agency or members of the general public) comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed.

The Medical University of South Carolina shall endeavor to follow the standards established under Section 508 as its minimal requirements for Web accessibility.

Additionally, a Web page that is 508 compliant can aid in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of its content.

Your Web Accessibility Responsibility

As part of the development of a new site or new content, web content owners and editors are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that their Web pages are compliant with the recommendations set forth by the MUSC Web Accessibility Guidelines Group. Web content owners should be familiar with the guidelines and apply them when creating/editing their Web content (pages, documents, navigation).

If a content owner is responsible for multiple sites/pages, and an overhaul is required to bring them in to compliance, priority should be given in the following order:

a)      top-level pages on public-facing sites;

b)      secondary pages on public-facing sites;

c)      top-level pages on internal sites;

d)      secondary pages on internal sites.

A page is “top-level” if it is within the top two levels of a site. A page is “secondary” if it is outside the top two levels.

However, legacy content (has not been updated in 2 years or more, or can non longer be accessed via any site navigation menu, internal links or internal search methods) does not need to be updated unless requested.

Third-party contractors/vendors producing websites for MUSC entities should be made aware of MUSC’s Web Accessibility Guidelines, and thus are expected to adhere to them.

MUSC Web Accessibility Guidelines Group

The MUSC Web Accessibility Guidelines Group is a small collection of individuals from across campus whose responsibility is to make recommendations to Wallace T. Bonaparte, Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action (bonaparw@musc.edu) relating to accessibility of content on any of MUSC’s Web pages. Any approved recommendations will be added to this document as needed.

Furthermore, if this group becomes aware of a MUSC page that does not comply with the guidelines outlined in this document, they will inform the page content owner of such and educate him/her, if needed, on how to correct the deficiencies.