Accessibility Exception Requests

All websites, web applications, and other electronic and information resources (EIR) must comply with technical accessibility standards. (See chart at bottom of the page.) If achieving compliance is not possible, an EIR Accessibility Exception Request form may need to be completed. 

Whenever possible, multiple EIR should be vetted to ensure procurement of the most accessible EIR which meets your business need. This involves an analysis of vendor-completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates®, also known as VPATs® or Accessibility Conformance Reports.

Using steps to ensure EIR compliance can improve access to digital assets of the university.

1: Vet multiple products

Utilize our ACE Tool or contact vendors to request a completed Section 508 VPAT® for each product you're considering. If not available, ask for supporting evidence of each product's degree of conformance with Section 508 accessibility criteria. 

2: Contact the IT accessibility team

Email ITaccessibility@tamu.edu; the IT accessibility team can help you narrow down your selections and determine if an exception request is necessary for your preferred option. They can also show you tools and tips for future assessments and routing.

3: Review form instructions

If an exception is deemed necessary, review form instructions or download them for reference prior to completing the form.

4: Fill out the online form

Complete the online EIR Accessibility Exception Request form, making sure to upload pertinent documentation such as the VPAT®, vendor accessibility statements, or other evidence of accessibility compliance.

5: Look for status updates

Your request will be reviewed by the accessibility team and routed to your dean or vice president and, subsequently, the President, or designee. You will receive status notifications throughout the process.

6: Receive final decision

As the requestor, you're notified of the final decision and exception duration through an automated email, and the resulting document is saved within the Laserfiche repository. If you filled out the form on behalf of an EIR owner/administrator and added them to the form, they will also receive notifications and the results of the review. 

7: Notify purchasing agents

If you're procuring the product, you will need to notify purchasing personnel of the exception approval or forward the email approval to them.

*An approved exception request is not an exemption from making EIR accessible. Instead, it is documentation of temporary acceptance of risk until the EIR or associated service can be brought into compliance through modification, substitution with a comparable EIR, or discontinuation of use due to end of life (EOL).

Approaching the expiration of the exception, you will be notified of the need to renew the exception.

EIR Accessibility Standards

Effective April 18, 2020, unless an exception is approved by the president or chancellor of an institution of higher education or an exemption has been made for the following EIR categories pursuant to 1 Texas Administrative Code §213.37, all EIR developed, procured, or changed by an institution of higher education shall comply with the standards described in the following subchapters.

EIR Category Technical Accessibility Standards
Software Applications and Operating Systems Title 1, Rule §213.30 of the Texas Administrative Code
Websites
Telecommunications Products Title 1, Rule §213.31 of the Texas Administrative Code
Video and Multimedia Title 1, Rule §213.32 of the Texas Administrative Code
Hardware Title 1, Rule §213.33 of the Texas Administrative Code
Functional Performance Criteria Title 1, Rule §213.35 of the Texas Administrative Code
Support Documentation and Services Title 1, Rule §213.36 of the Texas Administrative Code


This requirement does not apply to:

  • EIR that have been exempted by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). See listing on the DIR website.
  • Devices containing embedded information resources that are integral to the product, but the principal function of the product is not to be an information resource.
  • Medical equipment in which EIR are integral to its operation.

See more information within EIR Accessibility in Texas A&M Procurement.

Contact the Division of Information Technology accessibility team if you have any questions or comments.

 

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