Technology & Information Accessibility
TU has developed objective accessibility standards for its public website in response to the needs of audiences who use technology adaptations when interacting with website content.
Public Website Accessibility
TU’s home page and website page templates are built to Section 508 web accessibility standards. OTS uses site accessibility reporting software to identify and help repair section 508 issues on the university’s 5,600+ content pages.
Top-level and business-critical legacy videos on our public website are either captioned or include a link to a transcript. Campus video production departments are captioning all new top-level video projects.
TU provides training to assist public website contributors in understanding accessibility standards and how to achieve them when posting content, including alt text best practices. Public-facing content on the TU website is regularly audited to ensure compliance with section 508 guidelines and remediate any issues.
Website visitors who are having trouble using an adaptive technology with our site are asked to send an email with the page’s web address and a description of the problem to ADA AT_TOWSON.
Assistive technology is adaptive equipment that enables persons with disabilities to perform functions and achieve tasks that might otherwise be difficult. Accessibility and Disability Services provides information about some of the assistive technologies available to Towson University students.
Accessible Course Design
The Faculty Academic Center of Excellence at Towson provides information about accessible course design.
Live Streaming Accessibility
Listed below are guidelines and resources related to conducting live and accessible virtual meetings or events on platforms such as WebEx/Zoom.
Live Event Captioning/Transcription
TU recommends requiring registration for your event and to include a field asking
if registrants have a need for a disability accommodation. We recommend that the registration
period be closed two business days in advance of your event to ensure adequate time
for making accommodations.
If registration is not feasible and you anticipate 15 attendees or more, arrange for live captioning/transcription as part of your initial planning. If registration is not feasible and you expect 15 participants or less, you must advertise how to request an accommodation for the event in a prominent place in all messaging and advertising about the event. We suggest including information about when accommodation requests should be made by, such as “captioning/transcription requests should be made two business days in advance.”
The cost for live captioning/transcription is $118 per hour. To arrange for captioning, please contact OTS Accessibility at otsaccessibility AT_TOWSON at least two business days in advance of your event.
How to Access Live Captions/Transcriptions
Our live captioning/transcription approach consists of a separate URL that users may view next to the main meeting
window for a real-time transcription feed, by an actual person and not AI. Every live
TU event with captioning will have its own unique URL. If you know you will be captioning/transcribing the event in advance and have already initiated captioning services through OTS Accessibility,
provide the URL with your initial invitation.
If your event invitation has already gone out, edit any applicable invitations to include the caption/transcription URL. Additionally, you should paste the caption/transcription URL into the meeting chat box upon launch, and then do so again about 10 minutes after you begin so that any late arrivals know how to access the live caption/transcription feed.
Recording Your Event for Future Viewing
If you plan to record your event and provide access on-demand via the web, your video should be closed captioned/transcription. Some departments on campus are equipped to provide captioning/transcription internally and have established captioning/transcription processes; if you are not in one of these departments and need guidance on captioning/transcribing, please contact OTS Accessibility at otsaccessibility AT_TOWSON.
Event Platform Accessibility
TU supports numerous virtual event/meeting platforms. Though there is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to accessible technology, OTS Accessibility is available for consultations to determine what platform may be best for your audience. For consultation, please contact OTS Accessibility at otsaccessibility AT_TOWSON.
Social Media Accessibility
TU has developed guidelines for social media accessibility for departments and offices.