28  Accessibility

Approved by President 
Effective Date: May 15, 2019
Responsible Division: President
Responsible Office:  Institutional Equity and Compliance
Responsible Officer:  Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance

I.  Purpose

This policy reflects Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU or University) commitment to providing access to physical environments, information, materials, and technologies to both individuals with disabilities and others.

MTSU recognizes accessibility as creating an environment in which 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. In this regard, MTSU will work to ensure compliance by advancing accessibility through the adoption, when feasible, of related principles of universal design.

II. Scope

MTSU will promote accessibility practices in the provision of courses, workplace environments, extracurricular activities, events, communications, and all other campus offerings. 

III. General

MTSU is dedicated to achieving  access for people with disabilities in accordance with applicable laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended and the Rehabilitation Act, which protect qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. For the purposes of this policy, accessibility will be categorized as general or individual.

General access refers to implementing accessibility features during the planning and execution of campus offerings in accordance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design for capital projects, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for electronic, informational communications, and other considerations such as treatment of service animals and their handlers, ticketing and services at events, and application of accessibility requirements in the purchasing/contracting process.

Individual access accommodation is arranged on a case-by-case basis based upon an interactive process that may include a review of medical documentation, reasonable requests from employees, applicants, students, and external constituents, and an opportunity for faculty or supervisors to offer feedback to either the Disability and Access Center or Institutional Equity and Compliance. Individual accommodation should only be provided after the interactive process is complete and directed by the Disability & Access Center (students), Institutional Equity and Compliance (employees), Human Resource Services (applicants), or event organizers (external parties).

IV.  Resources

Accessibility impacts essentially every aspect of the campus community. The University has established resources to provide oversight and assistance. 

A.  The Director of ADA Compliance works with departments as they evaluate their internal and external offerings and consider ways to improve access. The Director of ADA Compliance also collaborates with individual employees and their supervisors to evaluate and respond to individual accommodation requests.

B.  The Instructional Accessibility Specialist in the Center for Teaching & Technologies serves in the development of solutions to address accessibility concerns in teaching and learning.

C.  The Disability & Access Center assists students with their individual access needs and provides insights to student concerns related to proactive campus access.

D.  Applicants for employment should contact Human Resources to address individual access needs.

E.  The Procurement Office assists with requests for information from vendors about the accessibility of their products during the bidding process. 

F.  Communication Technologies and Instructional Support staff actively evaluate website and online education accessibility

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: May 2019.

References: Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended; Rehabilitation Act.