Digital & Academic Materials Accessibility Policy

  • Custodian of Policy: Chief Information Officer
    Effective Date: Fall 2019
    Last Review: Fall 2019
    Next Review: 2026
    Relevant MnSCU Policy: Board Policies 1B.0.1, 1B.1, 1B.4


    Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) wants to ensure all students have access to a welcoming and accessible environment, including people with disabilities and those who use assistive technologies. It is the shared responsibility of all individuals affiliated with MSUM including, but not limited to, its students, faculty, and staff. In regard to all digital and academic materials, MSUM strives to be in compliance with accessibility laws (ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act) and internationally accepted standards for web accessibility (WCAG 2.0 Level AA). The purpose of this policy is to outline the standards and expectations for MSUM’s campus community regarding accessibility of digital and academic materials.


    Part 1. Standards and Expectations

    Subpart A: Course Materials

    To ensure an accessible learning environment, faculty will:

    • Follow any prescribed accommodations/modifications in a fair, non-judgmental and timely manner
    • Maintain the student's right to privacy concerning the disability and any accommodations
    • Provide timely access to course materials at the same time all other students receive the materials
    • Include Accessibility Resources approved accessibility statements in their syllabi
    • Design their courses and course material in an accessible manner following guidelines provided by Accessibility Resources and the Office of Online Learning following accessibility best practices including, but not limited to:
      • Syllabi
      • Texts
      • Open Educational Resources
      • Course supplements and platforms
      • Assignments
      • Handouts
      • Tests
      • Faculty web sites

    Subpart B: Marketing & Promotional Materials

    All marketing and promotional materials must be designed in an accessible manner including, but not limited to:

    • Streaming videos
    • Digital images
    • Social media posts
    • Web site content

    Subpart C: Procurement

    All products purchased by MSUM must be Section 508 compliant and meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

    Part 2: Accessibility Standards

    MSUM commits to adhere to the following accessibility standards:

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and mandates equitable and timely access to programs, services and activities for individuals with disabilities.

    Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

    In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. On January 18, 2017, Section 508 was refreshed to include formal adoption of WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the minimum compliance standard for accessibility.

    WCAG 2.0 Level AA

    Web Content Accessibility Guidelines ("WCAG") refers to standards for web content accessibility that have been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium ("W3C"), an international community where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. State entities must adhere to WCAG version 2.0 Level AA according to the State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard.

    Part 3: Undue Burden

    An exception for undue burden is only applicable to a material, service, product, activity, event, space, or purchase that cannot be made accessible without imposing significant difficulty or expense on MSUM.

    If an exception for undue burden is identified, a written explanation must be developed in collaboration with Accessibility Resources explaining the basis for the decision including why and to what extent conformance to specific requirements would result in an undue burden on MSUM. The custodian of this policy is charged with making the final determination as to whether conformance to specific requirements of the aforementioned accessibility standards would impose an undue burden on the campus community.

    Physical Accessibility of the Campus

    For questions regarding physical accessibility of the campus, or to request service, contact the Executive Director of Facilities Management. 218-477-2662.