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Captioning Policy/Legal

CSU Executive Order 1111 states that “It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability.” Information technology and resources includes voice and video programs and services.  This applies whether the materials are created by individuals, acquired online at no cost, or purchased.

CSU Coded Memorandums provides a framework for campuses to evaluate, prioritize, plan and incrementally implement this requirement through the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). This framework includes reporting annually on progress towards achieving ATI goals and success indicators, including several that focus on multimedia.

The ATI goals and success indicators are based on applicable federal and state laws and standards, including, but not limited to, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); California Government Code §11135; the U.S. Access Board’s Section 508 Standards; and the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Campuses not in compliance with applicable federal and state laws have found themselves in challenging situations and open to legal liabilities. Office for Civil Rights lawsuits and settlements have resulted in universities across the country having to undertake major initiatives to such as ATI. Often implementing these initiatives to reach compliance are at high cost and in a shortened timeline. It is important to develop a process to provide captioning in an equally effective manner rather than have a time line imposed by a legal settlement. Past settlement agreements have included the following types of requirements:

  • Develop and implement strategies to make IT fully accessible on multiple campuses
  • Bring university websites into full compliance within one year
  • Meet stringent timelines for delivering accessible course materials to students
  • Implement new online systems for tracking and fulfilling requests
  • Remediate both internal and third party online library catalogs
  • Implement specialized scanning services and provide assistive technology stations

These guidelines are intended to help campuses devise strategies for achieving multimedia accessibility compliance while mitigating such potential legal liabilities.


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