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Sinclair's Web Accessibility Help

Welcome to Sinclair Community College's Accessibility Hub. As a college, Sinclair prides itself on promoting a culture of accessibility. Multiple committees work with campus departments, faculty, staff, and students to ensure our shareholders have the most accessible services available for their needs. 

To best navigate this webpage's information, please select your audience or view the Web Accessibility Policy below:


Sinclair Web Accessibility Policy 

November 16, 2018

Last Revision: May 12, 2021
Web site address for this policy:

Use the links below to navigate the sections on the Policy:


Policy Statement

Sinclair Community College is strongly committed to ensuring equal access and equal opportunities to all its constituencies. All Sinclair web sites and online content must be accessible to those with disabilities in accordance with this Web Accessibility Policy. This policy establishes minimum standards for the accessibility of Sinclair web sites and online content to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, including, but not limited to: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) as referenced in Section 508.


Definition of common terms
Term Definition
Accessible A person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. A person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.
Archived content Web site/s, web application/s, web page/s, and online content that is (a) intended to represent a historical snapshot of a course, program, academic curriculum, record of events, historical data or backups, or other web information, and (b) not used in any current course, current program, currently active academic curriculum, or current activity, or current administrative function of the college.
Assistive technologies Adaptive and/or rehabilitative devices, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that promote greater independence for individuals with disabilities by changing how these individuals interact with technology. Assistive technologies include special input devices, such as a head/foot mouse or voice recognition programs, screen enlargement applications, and screen-reading software, which can read aloud for the user the details of material displayed on a monitor.
Constituencies All people involved with or served by Sinclair Community College, including potential students, current students, employees, staff, faculty, guests, visitors, and members of the public.

The types of disabilities that must be accommodated, non-discriminated against, and be provided an equal access and opportunity included, but are not limited to people who may:

  • People who may be blind or hard of seeing
  • People who may be colorblind
  • People who may be deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who may be mute or have a vocal disability
  • People who may have a motor disability or difficult performing manual tasks (such as with a mouse, keyboard, affected response times/accuracy, or repetitive functions)
  • People who may have a cognitive disability (such as affecting learning or mental functions, reading/verbal comprehension, attention/distractibility disorders, motion sensitivity, conditions affecting memory and processing)
  • People who may be susceptible to seizures or have vestibular disorders (such as light, motion, or sound triggered migraines, motion sensitivity, and balance disorders which have conditions such as dizziness, vertigo, and nausea)
Functionally accessible Means that any person can use the resource effectively to perform an available task. The best way to test functional accessibility is with real world use testing by those with disabilities and by assistive technologies.
Legacy content Any web application using old or outdated programming, technology, or system that cannot be upgraded or modernized without being replaced or completely rewritten OR any web site, web application, web page, and online content published prior to May 31, 2017.
Online content Any textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on a web site including, but not limited to; rich media files, document files (e.g. PDF, Word, PowerPoint), forms, images, data, interactive elements, embedded web applications, videos, audio files, quizzes, tests, articles, and interactive videos as a part of eLearn content.
Redesign Any phase during the development or maintenance of a web site, web application, web page, or online content in which significant alteration or update is made to the visual design, institutional branding, information architecture, or technical functionality of the site. Minor content updates are not considered redesign projects.
Technically accessible A resource that is coded to an accepted accessibility standard. A resource that is technically accessible and shows compliant on an automated accessibility scanner may still be functionally inaccessible.
Unofficial content

An application, a web site/page, or online content published by an individual (student, a college employee or by a non-college organization), which is not hosted on Sinclair servers. Examples include:

  • Student, faculty, and staff personal pages
  • Online content created by students to fulfill academic requirements
  • Academic resources provided by faculty and staff that were not created by Sinclair or an approved vendor
  • Alumni class and organization online content
  • Student organization and club online content
  • Affiliate online content
VPAT Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT) is a template filled and submitted by vendors to Sinclair to indicate their product’s conformance with accessibility standards and assist with Sinclair’s market research responsibility and decision making on purchasing and contracting for accessible web products that meet Sinclair’s Web Accessibility Policy.
Web application Any client-server program that delivers dynamically generated content intended to be rendered in a web browser by the client.
Web page A (web) document rendered by a markup language, (e.g., xHTML, HTML), independent of its transmission protocol (e.g., http) and user agent (browser/reader).
Web site Any collection of web pages, including web applications, residing under a single domain and whose content is centered on a single organizational department, topic, activity, outreach, administrative function, part of the student lifecycle, and/or online instruction.



  1. Sinclair will maintain and enforce this Web Accessibility Policy, to ensure Sinclair web sites and online content, including acquisitions from vendors are technically accessible and functionally accessible for persons with disabilities and do not impede the use of assistive technologies.

  2. All current Sinclair web sites and online content, including Sinclair's main public facing website, non-legacy content, and acquisitions from vendors, will meet the requirements of this Policy within one year of the official adoption of this Policy.
  3. All new and redesigned web sites and online content published after the official adoption of this Policy by Sinclair will be in compliance with this Web Accessibility Policy.
    1. All new and redesigned web sites and online content created, designed, and/or developed by Sinclair will follow the Minimum Web Accessibility Standards (MWAS).
    2. All new and redesigned web sites and online content created, designed, and/or developed by a vendor hired or paid by Sinclair must submit a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT) and/or addendum to Purchasing prior to signing a contract or renewing a contract of service.
  4. Legacy content is subject to the standards in place at the time of development and to the legacy guidelines provided for in this Policy.
  5. Each Sinclair web site, including legacy content, must provide, in plain text, a method of contact for users who may have trouble accessing content, as follows:
    1. Use of a link named "Web Accessibility Help" which hyperlinks to the web page
    2. The Web Accessibility Help web page at will include contact information, including an email address and telephone number that puts the user in touch with someone responsible for the online content that can respond in a timely manner.
  6. Upon specific request for access by an individual, legacy content will be updated to be in compliance with the Web Accessibility Policy, or otherwise made available to any individual requesting access in an equally effective alternative and in a timely manner.
    1. Timeliness will be considered in the context of the type of information or service the online content provides and the amount of content being requested.
    2. For information-based pages equally effective means that it communicates the same information with a comparable level of accuracy.
    3. For interactive or service pages equally effective means that the end result (e.g. registration) is accomplished in a comparable time and with comparable effort on the part of the requestor.
  7. Exceptions:
    1. Upon specific request for access by an individual, archived content will be made available/accessible to any individual eligible for and needing access to such online content, by revision or otherwise.
    2. Web sites and online content to which there are no longer active links, but which are subject to records retention are considered to be in archive status and do not have to be updated under this Policy unless specifically requested by an eligible individual.
    3. When compliance is not technically possible for legacy content or may require extraordinary measures due to the nature of the information and the intent of the web site/application to update it to compliance, Sinclair Administration may grant exceptions to Policy Requirement VI. Requests for exceptions by Sinclair employees and faculty should be made in writing and must be based on issues other than cost alone. An equally effective alternative will still need to be provided even if Sinclair Administration grants an exception to updating the legacy content.
    4. Web sites and online content published by Sinclair or provided by a vendor for Sinclair, for which no accessible functionally equivalent exists are not required to update to compliance; however, alternatives must be provided upon specific request for access.
    5. Web sites and online content in active development or testing by Sinclair to conduct research or experiments in developing or utilizing new technologies and applications for the web are not required to be accessible.
    6. Web sites and online content published by Sinclair or provided by a vendor for Sinclair, not intended for public use or for general use by Sinclair students or employees, such as those intended for an individual or private audience are not required to be accessible.
    7. Sinclair is not responsible for making unofficial content accessible.


  1. Sinclair will have designated at least one person as Web Accessibility Coordinator to fulfill assigned roles and responsibilities related to this Policy. Sinclair will support the Web Accessibility Coordinator and his/her authority, as needed in relation to this Policy and its requirements.
  2. If an accessibility issue or concern is discovered in an audit, Sinclair will rectify the concern in a timely manner by either fixing the web site or online content to be accessible or by providing an equally effective alternative online in conjunction with the original web site or online content that the issue or concern was about, making it clear where the accessible alternative can be located.
  3. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will ensure regular training of Sinclair web developers, web content editors, learning management system personnel, and faculty who create, design, or develop web sites or online content for Sinclair. Training will include information on this Policy, its requirements, individual responsibilities, training resources, and best practices for creating, designing and developing accessible web sites and online content as it relates to the individual’s responsibilities.
  4. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will perform accessibility audits at regular intervals of Sinclair’s web sites and online content as it relates to the requirements of this Policy. They will consult with offices and individuals on web accessibility concerns they find and help resolve them as it relates to this Policy.
  5. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will maintain Sinclair’s Web Accessibility Policy by regularly reviewing and suggesting revisions to the Policy and standards, as needed, in accordance with regulation and web technology changes.
  6. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will be a point of contact for taking and resolving complaints about this Policy from Sinclair’s constituencies, including ensuring timeliness in Sinclair making available requested equally effective alternatives as detailed in this Policy. The Web Accessibility Coordinator will also grant or recommend exceptions to requirements in the Policy for updating legacy and archived content as appropriate.


Respective Position/Office responsibilities listing
Position or Office Responsibilities

Web Accessibility Coordinator

  1. Ensure regular education, training, and support resources to offices and individuals on compliance with this policy.
  2. Regularly assess Sinclair’s web accessibility and consult with offices and individuals on web accessibility concerns.
  3. Regularly review and revise this policy and standards in accordance with regulation and web technology changes.
  4. Receive and resolve complaints about this policy. Grant exceptions to the policy as appropriate.
Web Developers, Programmers, Application Engineers, and Application Administrators Ensure all web sites and online content are accessible in accordance with this policy, following the MWAS (refer to Requirements: section 2A) and/or VPAT®. Attend regular web accessibility training.
Web Content Editors Ensure all web sites and online content are accessible in accordance with this policy, following the MWAS and/or VPAT®. Attend regular web accessibility training. Work with vendors to ensure contracted related software is compliant with accessibility requirements to the levels specified in this policy. 
eLearning Personnel and Instructional Designers Ensure all eLearning online environments are accessible in accordance with this policy. Ensure appropriate content placed into courses is accessible in accordance with this policy. Attend regular web accessibility training and develop training for necessary parties. Actively coordinate processes using accessibility tools to ensure course accessibility. Ensure policies are strategically designed to be student-centered and campus-wide. 
Faculty (Course Coordinators, Developers, and Instructors) Ensure appropriate content in their courses is accessible in accordance with this policy. Attend regular web accessibility training.
Purchasing Ensure all vendors have submitted VPAT®s and/or an addendum when purchasing and/or renewing software, web applications, or web content licenses and services.
Accessibility and Counseling Services Oversee college efforts for students for equal access to courses, programs, services, and activities via individualized, reasonable accommodations and supports while promoting inclusivity of opportunity for individuals with disabilities. 
Information Technology (where not included in this list otherwise) Maintain an active role in different capacities supporting college-wide efforts to ensure systems are accessible in design, delivery, or execution. Incorporate accessibility needs into the IT Master Plan process. 


Minimum Web Accessibility Standards (MWAS)

The Sinclair Community College Minimum Web Accessibility Standards (MWAS) provide guidelines for web designers, web developers, and content editors on how to help satisfy the accessibility requirements of the Web Accessibility Policy. Guidelines are based on the applicable state and federal regulations, including, but not limited to:

The revised 508 Standards Refresh incorporate by reference the WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria as a minimum conformance requirement where of applicable state and federal regulations might be met:

Minimum Web Accessibility Standards (MWAS) detailed explanation
MWAS Content Types References
A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content). Graphics
508 1194.22 a
WCAG 1.1
Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation, whether prerecorded or live. Multimedia
508 1194.22 b
WCAG 1.2
Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup. Graphics
Use of Color
508 1194.22 c
WCAG 1.4.1
Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. Document Organization
508 1194.22 d
WCAG 1.3.1
WCAG 1.3.2
WCAG 4.1.2
Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map. Graphics
508 1194.22 e
WCAG 1.1
Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape. Graphics
508 1194.22 f
WCAG 1.1
Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables. Tables
Document Organization
508 1194.22 g
WCAG 1.3.1
WCAG 1.3.2
Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers. Tables
Document Organization
508 1194.22 h
WCAG 1.3.1
Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation. Document Organization
508 1194.22 i
WCAG 4.1.2
Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz. Graphics
Dynamic Content
508 1194.22 j
WCAG 2.3
A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way.  The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes. Flash
508 1194.22 k
WCAG Conforming Alternative Version
When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology. Dynamic Content 508 1194.22 l
WCAG 1.3.1
WCAG 4.1.2
When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a) through (l). Plug-ins
508 1194.22 m
508 1194.22 k
WCAG 1.1
WCAG 2.1.2
When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues. Forms 508 1194.22 n
WCAG 1.3.1
WCAG 2.1
WCAG 2.4.3
WCAG 2.4.6
WCAG 2.4.7
WCAG 3.3.2
A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links. Document Organization
508 1194.22 o
WCAG 2.4.1
When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required. Forms
Dynamic Content
Interactive Content
508 1194.22 p
WCAG 2.2.1
Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. Graphics
WCAG 1.3.3
For moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information, or audio or videos that automatically plays; a mechanism is available to pause, stop, or to control the frequency/speed/volume. Graphics
Dynamic Content
WCAG 1.4.2
WCAG 2.2.2
The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. Graphics
Use of Color
WCAG 1.4.3
Except for captions and images of text, text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. Text WCAG 1.4.4
If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text. Graphics WCAG 1.4.5
Web pages have titles that describe topic or purpose. Text
WCAG 2.4.2
The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. Text
WCAG 2.4.4
More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process. Navigation
Document Organization
WCAG 2.4.5
The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined.

The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be programmatically determined except for proper names, technical terms, words of indeterminate language, and words or phrases that have become part of the vernacular of the immediately surrounding text.
WCAG 3.1.1
WCAG 3.1.2
When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context. Links
WCAG 3.2.1
Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behavior before using the component. Forms
WCAG 3.2.2
Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user. Navigation
Document Organization
WCAG 3.2.3
Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently. Semantics WCAG 3.2.4
If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text. If suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardize the security or purpose of the content. Dynamic Content
Interactive Content
WCAG 3.3.1
WCAG 3.3.3
For Web pages that cause legal commitments or financial transactions for the user to occur, that modify or delete user-controllable data in data storage systems, or that submit user test responses, at least one of the following is true: There is a method of reversal, There is an option to check and correct input errors, There is an option to confirm/review and correct before submission. Dynamic Content
Interactive Content
WCAG 3.3.4