Responsibilities for Accessibility

Who makes sure learning environments are accessible?

The responsibility to ensure accessibility is campus-wide, which means that:

  • Faculty are responsible for designing courses that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body
  • Disability Support Services is responsible for coordinating the accommodation process when barriers are encountered on the basis of documented disability

Note that many students encounter barriers due to learning preferences, language of origin issues, or difficulties due to competing life demands, and none of these students are eligible to request adjustments through the accommodation process. It is for this reason that designing learning opportunites with a universal design approach tends to be far more effective in ensuring accessibility.

Who is responsible for making sure events are accessible?

Ultimately, the responsibility to ensure acccessibility lies with the institution as a whole, however primary responsibility is held by the event planner.

Appropriate point of contact for accommodation requests must be designated in advertisements.

Funding for accommodation comes from the entity hosting the event.

If there are not sufficient funds avaialble within the hosting entity's budget, then the hosting entity should communicate a request for additional funding up through the organizational structure.

It is important to note that when the Office for Civil Rights looks into cases of reported discrimination the argument that cost produced an undue burden is considered with respect the budget for the entire organization, not a single department.

Cost is never passed along to the participant and there should never be any communication that gives a participant the impression that cost is an issue. From the participant perspective the process should be seamless. Accessibility is a civil right.

Event planners should always take proactive steps to ensure location, materials and activities are as accessible as possible at the design stage to reduce the need for accommodation to the degree it is possible to do so.

Who is responsible for making sure the workplace is accessible?

While it is the institution as a whole shouldering responsibility, the primary relationship is between the individual and the supervisor.

Who is responsible for making sure websites are accessible?

The UAA Webpublishing site provides guidance on compliance standards. Responsibility to meet those standards is distributed. The individuals who upload content and/or maintain websites have a responsibility and so do the supervisors and department heads who oversee them.