This standard defines the steps needed to implement the Bellevue Community College (BCC) IT Security Policy addressing web information accessibility. Web pages at BCC must comply with federal and state accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The standard will be reviewed on an annual basis or when changes are implemented.
This standard defines the expectations which apply to the use of BCC resources to create, store, and publish Web pages on any BCC Web server. This standard is in place to ensure compliance with federal and state law. The concepts set forth in this standard currently apply to public BCC sites on the World Wide Web, Web development projects, information kiosks and services accessed through the Web, and multimedia (including audio and video) distributed via the Web. They will also apply to any other service provided through BCC Web servers in the future.
Exceptions to this standard should be rare. It is expected that deviations from this standard for either business necessity or platform implementation constraints will be appropriately documented in either a platform-specific standard or in a memo documenting the exception to the BCC IT Security Administrator. This documentation will include:
- A detailed description of the exception.
- A description of why the exception is necessary (platform limitation or business case).
- A description of the compensating controls that are in place to mitigate the risk of the exception.
- A risk assessment by the BCC IT Security Administrator and/or the Dean of Information Resources (IR).
Business Impact and Risk, Threat, and Vulnerability Analysis
This standard does not so much address the security risks and vulnerability associated with the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, which have generally been documented in other BCC IT Security Standards, as much as it addresses the business impact of noncompliance with federal and state statutes. There is an imperative for BCC to make its Web presence accessible in all situations, and to ensure that individual attempts to make BCC sites accessible do not compromise the security established under other IT Security Standards. Therefore, BCC users must read and comply with the requirements of this standard which limits any additional vulnerability. Because the need for full communication and access to information is such a vital part of fulfilling the educational and administrative missions of the college, whatever risks exist in the use of these resources are minor in comparison with their positive business impact.
There are no additional significant threats to the security of BCC networks and systems addressed in this standard. However, the business impact of non-compliance with these standards includes risks of: loss of revenue, dissatisfaction of those to whom BCC provides services, and a loss of reputation. Given the nature of the assets affected by use of the Internet and the Web, all of these risks are significant, and could cause considerable harm to BCC.
In response to the need to ensure equal access to electronic and information technologies, Bellevue Community College has developed a set of standards for Web page design. Just as environmental obstacles have created boundaries for individuals with disabilities, the Web presents an entirely different set of obstacles.
These standards address the same minimum requirements for accessibility as recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (http://www.w3c.org) and the U.S. Access Board (http://www.access-board.gov). The Access Board is an independent federal agency whose primary mission is to promote accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and to develop the standards outlined by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. Bellevue Community College is committed to providing information and services to all users, regardless of their method of access or the constraints of the technology they use to access information.
Users who benefit from Web information accessibility:
- Individuals who may not be able to see, hear, move, or may not be able to process some types of information easily or at all.
- Individuals who may not be able to use a keyboard or mouse.
- Individuals who may have a text-only screen.
- Individuals who may be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands cannot be used.
- Individuals who may be accessing Web pages utlizing text readers.
Bellevue Community College requires that all Web pages sponsored by, affiliated with, and which represent Bellevue Community College comply with information accessibility standards for Web pages, as presented in this document.
The college recognizes that the ever-changing nature of the Web and other technologies necessitates that these standards are revised on a regular basis to evolve alongside the innovations of the technology. Compliance with these technical standards will be expected of all BCC websites beginning September 1, 2003.