Academia and Web Accessibility
Even though there are not many regulations in place for the academic sector, most world-renowned academic institutions have incorporated accessibility guidelines as their standard practices. By implementing it, they are supporting the right of disabled people to access the information. To make users aware of it, these universities have published their accessibility policies on their websites. Here are excerpts from accessibility statements published on some of the world's top university website's.
The Diversity and Access Office oversees compliance with state and federal anti‐discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
D&A also oversees the ADA/Section 504 Grievance Procedure for students who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination based on a disability or denied access to services or accommodations which the ADA and/or Section 504 require Stanford to provide
Stanford University has adopted the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) as its goal for accessible Stanford Websites.
Harvard University is committed to making its websites accessible. In accordance with this commitment, and with the knowledge that accessible digital content generally enhances usability for everyone, this Policy is established to improve the user experience for those with disabilities.
For the purposes of this policy, Harvard University will use The Worldwide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.1 Level AA) as "the Standards."
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is committed to making our technology accessible to all people.
University websites and web applications that are created or undergo significant revisions or redesign after April 1, 2022 are expected to meet The Worldwide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, Level AA Conformance (WCAG 2.1 Level AA).
An accessible website automatically improve SEO as many of the requirements to comply with WCAG 2.0 AA (eg. Semantic markup, Image captions, alt texts etc ) also help improving the website visibility to search engines.
It is recommended to follow WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard for all Academic websites.