University policy, regulatory guidance, and standards for accessibility compliance
In addition to the University of Virginia's Information Technology Accessibility Policy, regulatory guidance and standards for accessibility compliance are also provided by the following agencies and organizations:
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Closed Captioning of Internet Video Programming
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): How to Meet WCAG - Captions
- Section 508 of the 1973 Rehab Act: Making Multimedia Section 508 Compliant and Accessible
Legal information about media accessibility
Recent court cases, lawsuits, and settlements involving higher education institutions have made it clear that a person with a disability should be able to acquire information as independently and robustly as a person without a disability. In other words, the University’s obligations involve more than accommodating requests for accessible resources; the University must make an effort to provide their resources to individuals with disabilities in a manner substantially equivalent to individuals without disabilities.
Legal settlements involving the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the Office of Civil Rights, and various colleges and universities consistently require all online video to have synchronized captions and associated transcripts with a minimum of 98%-99% accuracy, although 100% accuracy should be achieved whenever possible.
The American with Disabilities Act of 1990, as regulated by the Department of Justice, requires universities to provide aids and services that allow individuals with disabilities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of any program or activity. In addition, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 stipulates that an entity receiving any form of federal assistance must afford people with disabilities rights equal to those of non-disabled people. The Civil Rights Restoration Act further specifies that an entity receiving federal funding must grant civil rights to people using any part of that entity, even if it does not specifically benefit from federal programs. The Commonwealth of Virginia also carries accessibility laws affirming the rights described in the ADA and extending those rights to online environments.