Board of Education Website Accessibility
1511 BOARD OF EDUCATION WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY (M)
It is the goal of the Board of Education that the information on the school district’s internet websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute’s implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35) and New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1).
A. Federal Law – American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
1. For the purpose of the Federal law - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute’s implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35 and this Policy, “school district website” includes, but is not limited to, the internet home page, all subordinate pages, school or school district department pages, intranet pages and sites, and includes online content and functionality, developed by, maintained by, or offered through a third-party vendor or by using open sources.
2. The accessibility of online content and functionality will be measured according to the most up-to-date version of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Application Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content (benchmarks for measuring accessibility).
3. By conforming to the benchmarks for measuring accessibility set forth above, the Board of Education will ensure that people with disabilities have an opportunity equal to that of their nondisabled peers to access the information on the district’s website.
4. To ensure the district’s website conforms with the above benchmarks for measuring accessibility, the Superintendent of Schools will designate a school staff member to act as the Website Accessibility Coordinator. The Coordinator will:
a. Ensure that in-house staff and contractors responsible for webpages and webpage content development are properly trained on the Board of Education’s website accessibility policy and procedures;
b. Ensure that all new, newly added, and modified online content and functionality is accessible to people with disabilities as measured by conformance to the above benchmarks by, among other things:
(1) Checking the hypertext markup language (HTML) of all new webpages on the website to make sure that accessible elements are used, including "alt" tags, long descriptions, and captions, as needed;
(2) Ensuring that webpages are designed in a manner that allows them to be displayed using a visitor’s own settings for color and fonts, and can be navigated with a keyboard;
(3) If images are used, including photos, graphics, scanned images, or image maps, making sure to include text equivalents for them, using "alt" tags and/or long descriptions for each and ensuring the text equivalents convey the meaningful information presented visually by the image;
(4) If online forms and tables are used, making those elements accessible;
(5) Ensuring that videos appearing on the website include appropriately synchronized audio description and captions;
(6) Ensuring when posting new documents on the website, the documents shall be provided in HTML or another text-based format (even if they are provided in another format, such as portable document format (PDF)). If documents are provided in both formats, provide both formats at the same time so people with disabilities have the same degree of access as others;
(7) Periodically enlisting people with a variety of disabilities to test the Board of Education’s webpages for accessibility and ease of use and use this information to increase the Board’s website accessibility;
(8) Periodically coordinating the audit of existing content and functionality of the website to identify online content or functionality that is inaccessible to persons with disabilities; and
(9) Developing and carrying out a corrective action plan, when necessary, for making the district’s existing web content accessible.
c. Ensure that alternative means are available for people with disabilities to access information, programs, and services that are normally provided on the Board’s website.
B. New Jersey Law – N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1
1. For the purpose of New Jersey law – N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1 and this Policy, “internet website or web service” includes any webpage, website, web service, online curriculum, or online third party or open educational resource product that is made available to enrolled students or the public by the school district.
2. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1, no school district shall make available to the enrolled students of the district or school or to the public an Internet website or web service unless the Internet website or web service complies with the most up-to-date version of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) if the Guidelines are approved by the Commissioner of Education, or any other applicable guidelines or requirements as may be designed or approved by the Commissioner of Education.
3. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1.a. and b., the school district is required to submit a statement of assurance attesting to compliance with N.J.S.A. 18A:36-35.1 as required by the Commissioner of Education.
This Policy establishes minimum standards for the accessibility of web-based information and services considered necessary to meet the district’s goals and ensure compliance with applicable Federal and State laws.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
34 C.F.R. Part 104; 28 C.F.R. Part 35
Adopted: 29 September 2022