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Digital Accessibility Policy exceptions

Request an exception

The University of Rochester Digital Accessibility Policy requires that all new websites and digital resources published after January 1, 2024, must follow established accessibility standards. In certain cases, exceptions to this policy may be granted when compliance is not possible or would create a significant burden or result in a fundamental change. Lack of funds will generally not be accepted as a reason for an exception. In cases where lack of funds is a concern, the Digital Accessibility team will arrange a meeting to explore cost-effective strategies for managing compliance.

If a website or digital resource does not meet accessibility standards, an exception can be requested by completing the Digital Accessibility Exception Request form. The request should include a detailed explanation of why the website or digital product falls under one of these exceptions, along with a plan for how to address requests for alternative access.

The exception process helps document exceptions and provides the University with valuable data on efforts to improve digital accessibility.

Request an exception

Accessibility exception process steps

  1. The Requesting Individual assesses the need for the Exception Request process in their case.
  2. The Requesting Individual obtains approval from their Organizational Leader (think deans, vice presidents, department chairs, or directors) to file an Exception Request.
  3. The Requesting Individual gathers or prepares supporting information for the Exception.
  4. The Requesting Individual completes the Exception Request web form.
  5. The designated member of the Digital Accessibility team determines whether all the requested information is sufficient for review. If not, they inform the requester of any additional information needed.
  6. The designee notifies the Web Governance Council (WGC) that an exception has been received.
  7. WGC co-chairs review the requests and provide feedback to the designee.
  8. The Requesting Individual is informed of the decision.
  9. If desired, the Requesting Individual and their Organizational Leader can request an appeal.
  10. Appeals are directed to the Vice President of University Communications and Marketing and must include a rationale.
  11. The Vice President of University Communications and Marketing makes the final determination on the appeal.
  12. The final decision is communicated to the WGC, the Digital Accessibility team designee, the Requesting Individual, and the Organizational Leader.
  13. Appeal decisions are considered final.

Example situations where exceptions are typically granted

  • Scanned written or poor-quality historical documents or publications that are in a digital archive or archived historical legacy files.
  • Complex dynamic visualizations such as 3D models, virtual environments, CAD software, medical diagnostic or research imaging technologies.
  • Internal applications for use on a research project where a research team does not include any individuals with disabilities.
  • Spreadsheets containing program modules or macros that were developed to perform automated analysis or draw data from external or legacy databases.
  • Third-party licensed documents from scientific journals or conferences (for instance, in cases where the user is restricted from modifying the file due to license agreements, or when the journal hosts and updates the files on its server.)
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