Dear community members,
The University’s various websites provide an important means for members of our community to communicate and share ideas. We want our websites to reflect the University’s commitment to accessibility, so that everyone has an opportunity to access content that Harvard creates and posts.
We write today to announce the adoption of a Digital Accessibility Policy that will guide us all in making Harvard’s public-facing websites, and the digital content we create and post, more readily available to those with disabilities who seek to engage with Harvard online. The Policy builds on the efforts many in our community have made to advance and promote accessibility at Harvard. It requires staff and faculty to make a concerted, collaborative effort to improve Harvard’s digital accessibility using generally accepted best practices. Though it is effective immediately, the Policy allows time for the community to plan for and incorporate practices to ensure that covered websites come into conformance by December 1, 2019. We are convening an Accessibility Steering Committee that will help the University develop the Policy’s implementation procedures.
We will provide resources and training over the coming months to those of you who are responsible for a University website. The Policy also establishes the Digital Accessibility Services group, a new unit within Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT), which will provide in-house expertise, training, and information to Harvard faculty and staff. In addition, HUIT has compiled a list of FAQs to help you to understand what will be required, both in the coming months and after December 1. We encourage you to read the related Harvard Gazette story for more information.
We are grateful for the efforts of so many who are already working diligently to showcase Harvard’s mission online, while connecting millions to the vast array of knowledge that our University has to offer. Thank you in advance for sharing our commitment to make our websites accessible to all of those who seek to interact with them.
Alan M. Garber
Executive Vice President