Skip navigation links

Digital Accessibility Policy

Policy Number: UW-08-01

I. Policy Statement

Michigan State University is committed to providing equitable access to University programs, services, and information while enhancing inclusion for the broadest possible audience. This policy establishes minimum standards for the accessibility of information and communication technology to meet this commitment and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The goal of this policy is to achieve digital accessibility proactively. This policy reflects MSU’s aspiration and intent to live the University’s core values of collaboration, equity, excellence, integrity, and respect and the University’s commitment to eliminate barriers to access, challenge discrimination and bias, and address past and present inequalities.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all information and communication technology acquired, developed, distributed, used, purchased, or implemented by or for the University and used to provide University programs, services, or activities.

III. Definitions

Assistive technologies are any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Information and communication technology means any electronic system or equipment, and content contained therein, used to create, convert, communicate, or duplicate data or information. The intent of this definition is to capture an inclusive spectrum of current and emerging technology. Information and communication technology includes but is not limited to websites, web applications, desktop and mobile applications, e-texts, digital signage, digital files, social media, multimedia, and other web-delivered content and documents.

Equally Effective Alternative Access Plans (EEAAPs) are documented plans for providing equivalent alternatives when information and communication technology cannot be made directly accessible to persons with disabilities.

Legacy Content is content contained within a website or another piece of information and communication technology which has not been revised since the date a new set of technical guidelines was adopted.

Personal websites are websites about a specific individual which are not used for any university programs, services, or activities. To be considered personal in nature, a website cannot contain resources required for use by students or employees.

Technical guidelines are the version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines posted at

Timely remediation means resolving issues preventing access to information and communication technology within the time period defined by the Office of the ADA Coordinator. This time period may vary depending on issue severity.

University programs, services, or activities include but are not limited to teaching, learning, advising, research, outreach, employment, advancement, entertainment, medical services, and other official functions of the university.

IV. Policy

All University information and communication technology must fully meet the technical guidelines set forth at unless granted an exception by the Office of the ADA Coordinator.

V. Policy Procedures

Accessibility Issues

Issues regarding digital accessibility should be directed to the Report Inaccessible Digital Content Form at The Office of the ADA Coordinator is responsible for routing issues to MSU units for remediation.

Course Materials

All digital course materials must comply with the technical guidelines set forth at


Units seeking an exception to this policy must submit an Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan to the Office of the ADA Coordinator detailing how the unit will make University programs, services, or activities accessible to individuals with a disability in an equally effective manner. In limited cases, exceptions without an EEAAP may also be granted.

Legacy content need only comply with the version of the technical guidelines in place when it was last revised unless the content is necessary to provide access to university programs, services, or activities (such as an application form), or unless someone requests the legacy content be remediated for accessibility. Any such requests must be prioritized for timely remediation.

Personal websites and websites for student organizations that receive no university funding are excepted from this policy. Assistive technologies are also exempt if they are required to present information in a specific way based on their intended use case.


All Major Administrative Units (MAUs) are required to maintain an up-to-date Digital Accessibility Liaison at Liaison responsibilities include participating in meetings and annual accessibility reviews and are listed in full at


MSU units must retain the ability to maintain information and communication technology in compliance with the current technical guidelines set forth at unless an exception is granted. Any information and communication technology which can no longer be maintained in compliance with the technical guidelines may be required to be removed from the Internet.

Native File Formats

Files should be distributed in their native file formats (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) rather than converted to PDF unless the resulting PDF file is fully remediated for accessibility once it has been created.


MSU units must ensure information and communication technology procured, developed, provided, or delivered through procurement processes complies with the technical guidelines set forth at unless granted an exception by the Office of the ADA Coordinator.


MSU employees are expected to take digital accessibility training appropriate to their university role. Training resources are available at

VI. Violations

Digital accessibility issues may be reported via the Report Inaccessible Digital Content Form at

Information and communication technology in violation of this policy must be remediated by the responsible unit. If remediation does not occur in a timely way, the Office of the ADA Coordinator may require materials to be removed from the Internet until fully remediated. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Contractors, vendors, and other service providers who violate this policy may face termination of their business relationship with Michigan State University.

VII. Related Information and Attachments

Inaccessible Content Form
Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan
Digital Accessibility Website

VIII. History

  • Issued by Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance, May 9, 2024
  • Approved by President, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, May 9, 2024
  • Reviewed, revised and converted to MSU Policy Template, May 1, 2024
  • Policy created by the Digital Accessibility Coordinator, July 1, 2008

Authority Title and Review Information

  • Approval Authority: President
  • Responsible Executive: Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance
  • Responsible Office: Office of the ADA Coordinator
  • Responsible Officer: Digital Accessibility Coordinator
  • Policy Category: Information Technology
  • Effective Date: June 1, 2024
  • Last Review Date: May 1, 2024
  • Next Review Date: May 1, 2027