Frequently Asked Questions

For Departmental Buyers

Why do I need to worry about Accessibility?

It is important that everyone involved in a UC procurement process ensure policy compliance. If a purchased product/service turns out to have significant accessibility problems, some members of the staff, student body, faculty, and the public may find the product/service difficult or impossible to use. Such a situation exposes the University to risk, increases costs, and undermines the University’s commitment to accessibility.

What steps do I need to take to ensure the product or service I am purchasing is accessible?

Software purchases now require the completion of a quick checklist designed to identify purchases that introduce risk. If risk factors are identified in your checklist, you must coordinate with the appropriate team for further review prior to your purchase.

More information can be found on our Accessible and Secure Procurement page.

What is a VPAT and do I need to have one from my vendor?

A VPAT is a vendor-generated statement (using the required template) that provides relevant information on how a vendor’s product or service claims to conform to the Section 508 Standards. It is strongly recommended that RFPs for telecommunications products; video and multi-media products; self-contained, closed products; and desktop and portable computers include text requesting that all vendors submit a VPAT.

For Faculty

What content do I need to make accessible?

Ultimately, the accessibility of each individual course is the responsibility of the instructor, which means the textbook, syllabus, class handouts, PowerPoints, and videos must be accessible to each student enrolled in the course. Please refer to the DSC Faculty Handbook for more details.

How do I make accessible handouts for my course?

There are several good resources that can help you make your handouts in an accessible format, including:

Do I have to caption my instructional videos?

Media posted on the Web should be made accessible to individuals with disabilities, including visually and hearing impaired people. This means providing transcripts and/or captions for audio and video. This applies to videos you use as course materials, as well as to videos of your own lectures and classroom activities. The UCOP Transcripts and Captioning page offers resources and guidance, and you can find a list of Closed Caption Vendors on this site.

I maintain a website for my students. What do I need to know about Web Accessibility?

The University of California Information Technology Accessibility Policy requires compliance with the WCAG 2.0 level AA standards for all web-based information. There are many great tools and resources available for web developers at the UCOP Accessibility website, including this helpful guide to Getting Started on the Web.

For Staff

I don’t work with students at all. Do I still need to be concerned about accessibility?

The University of California is committed to providing an electronic environment that is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. This includes departmental and administrative information. If you distribute information such as memos or training manuals, or provide a departmental website or videos, this information should be made accessible to those with disabilities. Use the UCOP Accessibility Prioritization Guide to determine which communications should receive prioritization.

My department has limited resources. How do I prioritize our accessibility work?

To help determine the priority a particular project should receive for accessibility, use the UCOP Accessibility Prioritization Guide. You will receive a response indicating whether the priority level should be high, medium, or low. The questions take into account various considerations that come into play in determining where to focus resources and effort first.