Policy 97

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Media Accessibility

Policy 97:


97.01 Statement of Purpose

UW-Parkside is committed to the fundamental academic principles of equity and accessibility by providing all students and staff equitable access to campus programs, services, events, and staff development activities. The aim of this policy is to support an inclusive academic environment by incorporating design concepts that reduce or remove barriers. UWP will achieve this goal by having a policy on the use of captioned media:

Beginning in the fall semester of 2015, all media resources purchased and/or used at this institution must be captioned. All new instructional, informational, marketing, and promotional audiovisual materials produced by this institution, including content posted on websites, will be produced with captions to ensure all subsequent copies will be captioned.

97.02 Background

The increased use of media in the classroom poses barriers to some students with disabilities, and in particular students who are deaf or hard of hearing. For example, when a professor shows a video clip in class that does not include captions, students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Although the legal support for a captioning policy addresses accessibility for persons with disabilities, research clearly shows captions benefit a much wider audience. Captioning facilitates note-taking, enhances understanding and recall, and provides access to auditory content when variations of sound quality or surrounding noise create distractions.

With the expanding use of video for instruction and communication, captions serve as the basis for enabling video to be searched, translated, and serve different learning styles for both native English speakers and English as Second Language (ESL) learners.

The University of Wisconsin -Parkside, along with the UW System, endorses the Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as the standard for World Wide Web accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. W3C is composed of over 400 member organizations world-wide (public and private) developing common protocols to promote the evolution of the World Wide Web and ensure its inter-operability. As part of its work, the W3C has developed accessibility guidelines for the World Wide Web. The standards of the Federal Rehabilitation Act (Section 508) are consistent with the W3C Guidelines and provide achievable, well documented guidelines for implementation.

97.03 Guidelines

97.03.01 All new or revised Web pages and other Web resources published, hosted or otherwise provided by the University must be in compliance with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31.

  • Reasonable effort must be taken to ensure that legacy Web pages and resources are in compliance with these subsections of Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508. That effort must be documented.
  • Legacy Web pages and resources will be considered those that are published prior to November 1, 2001.
  • Upon specific request, information on legacy Web pages and resources is to be made available to any individual needing access to such content, by revision or otherwise. The unit responsible for the creation of the information on the Web is responsible for providing that access. 
  • Upon specific request, information on Web pages and resources in archive status (e.g. no longer in use but subject to records retention plans) containing core administrative or academic information, official records, and similar information) is to be made available/accessible to any individual needing access to such content, by revision or otherwise.
  • What constitutes a Web page or other Web resource is to be interpreted broadly, and for example, does not depend upon the type of client or host device, the type of software on the client or host devices, or the technical means by which the client and host communicate over the Web.
  • All media resources purchased and/or used, beginning fall semester of 2015, must be captioned. All new instructional, informational, marketing, and promotional audiovisual materials produced by this institution, including content posted on websites, will be produced with captions to ensure all subsequent copies will be captioned.

97.03.02 Web pages or resources specifically requested to be made accessible as part of a formal accommodation request shall be made accessible as soon as possible, or an equally effective alternative shall be provided. Equally effective means that it communicates the same information and provides the equivalent functions in as timely a fashion as does the Web page or resource.

97.03.03 For items 1 and 2 above, undue administrative or financial burdens may contribute to a determination that alternative formats be used to provide the information to individuals requiring use of the information. If compliance in specific instances appears to be impossible or an undue burden, the Media Accessibility Team may grant exceptions.

97.03.04 Each Web site must contain an accessible link or a person to contact if users have trouble accessing content within the site. This would usually be the Web developer or publisher. The addition of a link or contact person is not sufficient, in and of itself, to comply with the Media Accessibility Policy.

97.04 Responsibilities
97.04.01 College Representatives

  • Will purchase the open and/or closed-captioned version of new instructional media and other audiovisual materials.
  • If a particular product is not available with captioning, and the College requires that particular product, the purchaser will obtain written permission from the copyright owner to add captions to the video. The purchaser may contact Disability Services for assistance with this process. Please note that permission must be obtained prior to purchase, as a condition of purchase. In the event that permission is denied, a suitable captioned alternative will be sought.

97.04.02 Faculty Members

  • Will only show captioned media in the classroom and will only assign captioned media as a course requirement.
  • Faculty utilizing media from their own personal or departmental collections (original or commercial productions) are responsible for ensuring it is captioned. In the case of commercially produced videos, appropriate public performance rights and licenses must be available for viewing at the College. Three years after the effective date of this policy, all captioning costs are to be built into departmental budgets. For further information and assistance, contact the Provost’s Office.

97.04.03 Library

  • Will maintain a library of captioned media resources that are available for faculty, staff, and student use.
  • Will maintain a record of all permissions for captioning and the digitization of copyrighted media resources.

    Will assist faculty by:
    • Identifying materials that are captioned prior to purchase.
    • Finding suitable, alternative media products that are captioned.

97.04.04 Disability Services

  • Will assist with obtaining permission to caption.
  • Will coordinate the process for captioning media resources for which permission to caption has been obtained.
  • Will maintain a list of approved vendors to perform captioning.

97.04.05 Campus Technology Services

  • Will ensure all classroom and presentation equipment is caption-compatible and the default on all TVs, etc., is set to provide open captioning.
  • Will provide specific instructions on the existing instruction sheets for faculty so it will be easier for them to show captioned media in their classroom.
  • Will ensure this information is incorporated into faculty training on AV equipment.

97.04.06 Purchasing Department

  • Will forward all purchase orders for media resources to Library for review to ensure all resources acquired are captioned or captionable.

97.04.07 All Departments of the Colleges

  • Will support this policy by ensuring all college employees are made aware of the policy, their obligations, and the support available to assist them.

97.04.08 Marketing Department

  • Will ensure all new communications and promotional materials produced under its own auspices and, on behalf of and by College departments, will be captioned.

97.05 Authority

This policy is issued by the Media Accessibility Team and administered by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The Media Accessibility Team is composed of:

  1. The Director of Disability Services,
  2. Chief Information Officer,
  3. The Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

The Media Accessibility Team is responsible for ensuring that UW-Parkside adheres to the University and System policy regarding accessibility for media resources.  The Team also provides guidance regarding issues related to accessibility to foster understanding, resolution of any issues that arise, and compliance with this policy.

97.06 Enforcement

If necessary, at the discretion of the University’s leadership or their designees, some or all non-compliant portions of media and resources may be brought into compliance by designated staff or contractors and the expense of that work may be charged to the UW–Parkside unit that is responsible for assuring the accessibility of that information on the Web.


*Revised Fall 2022

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