In keeping with Brown’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the University aims to ensure the information on its websites is available to the broadest possible audience. This policy establishes accessibility standards to ensure access to the University’s web and online content, regardless of an individual’s physical or developmental abilities. Brown endeavors to have its websites comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
To ensure access for persons with disabilities, Brown University websites shall meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). University websites must comply with WCAG 2.1, Conformance Level AA. These internationally recognized guidelines establish standards of accessibility for information in a web page or web application, including information such as text, images and sounds, as well as code or markup that defines architecture and presentation of web and online content.
Brown University website: Any website on the brown.edu domain, or any official Brown website, related to the institution’s programs, services, activities or employees.
Web content editor: Any individual with the ability to create, edit or remove web content on a Brown University website.
Computing & Information Services and the Office of University Communications are responsible for the procurement, development and/or maintenance of accessible web templates within Brown’s centrally-maintained content management system(s).
Web content editors are responsible for ensuring that each piece of web content they create, edit or maintain on a University website complies with this policy. All web content editors are required to complete Brown’s Website Accessibility Training. Web content editors must immediately report web accessibility complaints regarding their content to SEAS.
Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) is responsible for facilitating access to any content on a University website that a user reports to be inaccessible.
Launching New Websites
The Office of University Communications or Computing & Information Services will evaluate the accessibility of each new website prior to its public release on the brown.edu domain. New websites that do not comply with this policy will not be publicly released until the site’s accessibility issues are resolved.
Official Brown websites not on the brown.edu domain must request an accessibility review prior to launch from the Office of University Communications and should not be publicly released until any accessibility issues are resolved.
Addressing Accessibility Issues
Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) serves as the first point of contact for site users or visitors who have concerns about the accessibility of a University website. SEAS will work with the appropriate offices or individuals to provide access to the content in question and to resolve the accessibility issue.
When a web content editor receives a complaint about content accessibility on a Brown University website they manage, the individual or department has 30 days to address the issue. If the content accessibility issue is not addressed within 30 days, the Office of University Communications and/or Computing & Information Services reserves the right to take the website offline until the issue is resolved.