Policy Number: IT-26

Date Drafted: 05/17/2011
Approved Date
: 10/31/2011
, 04/09/2019
Reviewed Date: 09/27/2023

The University of Iowa is committed to ensuring the accessibility of electronic and information technology resources used by members of the university community and general public.  This commitment supports the university’s mission of teaching, research and service, and is maintained in accordance with relevant federal and state laws.

“Accessible” means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use.


  1. This policy applies to all electronic and information technology used by the university.  This includes, but is not limited to, the contexts of teaching, learning, research, service, employment, and other official functions of the university.
  2. This policy applies to materials hosted or provided by the university or by third parties, whenever these materials are used in official functions of the university.

Policy statements

  1. In order to maintain equal opportunities for all individuals, the goal of this policy is to achieve accessibility as a proactive need, rather than a reactive response.  While timely accommodation is required whenever accessibility is not achieved, an accommodation-only strategy is insufficient under this policy.
  2. The university will maintain processes for evaluating accessibility as part of the procurement process.
  3. All individuals will have access to education on the expectations, knowledge and skills related to accessibility.  Information about these opportunities will be posted on the IT Accessibility website.
  4. The Information Security and Policy Office (ISPO) will oversee coordination and implementation of this policy.  The ISPO will publish and maintain technical standards for implementing IT accessibility, including standards for web-based and non-web technologies.
  5. Exceptions to the policy are permitted only when full compliance would impose an “undue burden;” when an accessible format constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program, service, or activity; or when an accessible version of the materials does not exist. In all cases, the requesting individual or unit will be required to document and obtain approval(s) for the exception.  The processes for documentation and approval will be found on the IT Accessibility website.


  1. The technical standards for measuring compliance with this policy will be maintained on the IT Accessibility website.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Each faculty and staff member, trainee, student, vendor, volunteer, contractor, or other affiliate of the University of Iowa who designs, develops, recommends, procures or manages electronic and information technology is subject to and has responsibilities under this policy.
  2. Individuals responsible for the design, development, management and use of electronic and information technology will include accessibility in all phases of the software lifecycle.
  3. All University web resources must contain an accessible link a visitor with an accessibility concern can use to contact someone responsible for the resource.  The individual responsible for the resource may contact the ISPO for guidance in resolving the accessibility concern.


  1. The ISPO will maintain an accessibility website.  This site will include news, information, tools, and best practices, as well as links to other campus resources related to accessibility and services for persons with disabilities.  This site will also include frequently asked questions related to this policy.
  2. The ISPO will offer training and consultation on topics related to accessibility.
  3. The ISPO will develop processes to periodically assess the accessibility of University websites.  The results of these assessments will be shared with appropriate individuals.  Site owners will be responsible for addressing issues identified within a timely manner.


  1. Address any accessibility-related complaints to the ADA Compliance Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity or through a complaint with that office pursuant to the UI Policy on Human Rights.
  2. As part of the complaint process, UI resources in violation will be referred to the UI Accessibility Technical Standards Committee by the ADA Compliance Coordinator for assistance with remediation or replacement.  Remediation may include removal until compliant with this policy.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed bi-annually, understanding that updates or modifications may be made as the need arises.

Related Policies, References and Attachments:

This collection of University of Iowa Information Technology policies and procedures contain acceptable use, security, networking, administrative, and academic policies that have been developed to supplement and clarify University of Iowa policy. 

They are incorporated into the University of Operations Manual by reference, per the Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

IT Accessibility Website

Iowa Board of Regents IT Policy

Disability Protection Policy and Accessibility Statement (Operations Manual)

University of Iowa closed captioning guide for public-facing content (Office of Strategic Communication)

Requests for an exception to IT Policies & Standards can be submitted via the webform link here: Request a Security Exception