1. Statement of Web Accessibility Policy
The delivery of accessible Web-based and digital information is an integral part of the educational mission and service provided by Merritt Academy to its student and prospective student population, and all parents, staff, and third party guests and visitors. This policy affirms the Academy’s standards for accessibility of information through its Website and its commitment to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and their implementing regulations.
Merritt Academy has adopted the web accessibility standards and guidelines contained in the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (current version 2.0) to evaluate and determine user accessibility of its Website content, including by users with visual, hearing, or manual impairments or who otherwise may require adaptive assistance technology to access information.
The Merritt Academy Website will include a statement in plain text informing users with disabilities to contact the Academy’s Web Accessibility Coordinator to report any difficulty or issues in accessing content or information within the Website, including email and phone contact information.
2. Web Accessibility Coordinator
The Merritt Academy Web Accessibility Coordinator is responsible for the monitoring and oversight of the Academy’s compliance with this policy.
The Merritt Academy Web Accessibility Coordinator is:
- Phil Maurey, Director of Technology
- c/o Merritt Academy
- 59900 Havenridge Road
- New Haven, MI 48048
- Phone: (586) 731-5300
This policy will be updated whenever the Academy appoints a successor Web Accessibility Coordinator.
These procedures implement the Merritt Academy Web Accessibility Policy.
a. The Academy’s priority is to provide users of its Website with accessible content and information in an accessible format. Content and information may include text, images, videos, or other digital materials.
b. Merritt Academy IT staff are the primary developers, creators, and/or reviewers of content and information posted on its Website.
c. Prior to the posting of any content or information on the Merritt Academy Website, IT staff will evaluate such content for any accessibility issues to ensure that the posting is in compliance with this policy. Staff is expected to raise any questions related to content accessibility with the Web Accessibility Coordinator prior to posting. Staff will utilize relevant accessibility tools such as automated and/or using testing, assessment using the WCAG 2.0 checklist guidelines and the Title II Checklist for Website Accessibility for State and Local Governments, and, depending on the circumstances, expert counseling.
d. Merritt Academy will inform any third party contracted to provide Web content, or any other resource authorized to provide the same, of the terms and conditions of this policy prior to the engagement or request for services. All third parties providing services to the Academy either through engagement or request are to affirm that they have reviewed this policy and understand its application to the development of any Web content provided to the Academy.
e. All third-party provided content that is made available on the Academy’s Website regardless of whether contracted for, requested, or otherwise utilized by the Academy through any open source or shared media, must afford equal opportunity to the educational benefits and/or information to all users afforded by the technology utilized for such content.
f. Terms. The following terms are defined under this policy:
i. Accessibility. For purpose of this policy the term accessibility means that a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services from the Academy’s Website as a person without a disability with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as equally and independently as a person without a disability.
ii. Accessible format. Accessible format means that the structure and composition of digital information, documents, and applications are readable and usable by people with disabilities, using assistive technologies, and/or special configurations for user agents. Webpages, including those in archive status (e.g. no longer actively posted but subject to records retention requirements) that are specifically requested to be made accessible as an accommodation for an individual with a disability shall be made accessible or an equally effective alternative must be provided as soon as possible, but in any event no longer than within 15 business days of the request being received by the Academy.
4. Training and Accessibility Audits.
a. Training. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will facilitate annual training on the application of this policy, legal compliance, and related Website accessibility subjects. All Academy staff responsible for development, maintenance, and management of the Academy’s Website and content posted therein are required to attend this training.
b. Accessibility Audit. The Academy, under the oversight of its Web Accessibility Coordinator, will perform an accessibility audit of its Website every three years. Any issues related to accessibility, including providing content in an accessible format, disclosed through the audit will be documented and evaluated. If an accessibility issue must be remedied, the Academy will work to remedy it as soon as practicable based on its available resources. If an accessibility issue is not capable of being addressed within 15 business days, the reason for extending the timeline and an anticipated timeline for completion is to be documented.
5. Reporting Violations
Any user of the Academy’s Website may contact the Academy’s Web Accessibility Coordinator to report any difficulties accessing information or other concerns, or to report of a potential violation of the accessibility standards used by the Academy.