This article outlines the steps that schools must take after receiving an Office for Civil Rights (OCR) complaint.
An OCR Complaint is Received
When a school receives a complaint letter from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) the letter can be vague about what pages or portions of the site are not accessible. Schools should work with their legal counsel to draft a response to the complaint, which could include the following components:
- Auditor of Record, i.e. the firm who will perform an audit and assist the school with the testing and resolution process. The auditor also provides the final sign off on the audit report.
- Plan for New Content which typically includes:
- a detailed description of the planning process
- the manual testing approach (which produces the audit report)
- policies and procedures that will address the issues stated in the complaint
- staff training plan to ensure a proactive approach to reduce future complaints
A Resolution Agreement is Received
After the OCR review the response to the complaint, they will send a Resolution Agreement to the school, listing all the items agreed upon and sometimes approval of the Auditor of Record.
Siteimprove can help you through the initial process. Send us your OCR Complaint and OCR Resolution Agreement (if you have received one) and we will arrange a meeting to discuss your Plan for New Content and associated costs.
We will conduct the initial advisory services to establish your audit plan.
You can carry out automated testing with tools like Siteimprove’s Intelligence Platform. Manual Testing can be carried out in the audit process to ensure compliance including compliance with assistive technology. You and your chosen auditor will determine a “representative sample” of pages (i.e. pages that contain components used throughout the site on many other pages). Whereas automated testing will look at every page of your site, manual testing looks only at a smaller sample (as few as 10 pages) to provide you a sense of the accessibility throughout your site.
- The output of manual testing is comprised of a detailed audit report.
- The auditor reviews the findings of the testing and provides recommendations to identify and remediate accessibility issues that were identified during the testing phase.
- The audit report and review are used to build a Corrective Action Plan (CAP).
Siteimprove has expertise in manual testing and advisory services using methodology created in partnership with experts in the areas of Accessibility as well as experienced users of assistive technology.
We conduct both automatic and manual testing using guidelines that adhere to WCAG 2.1 guidelines, and we perform testing using keyboard navigation, screen readers (NVDA, JAWS, and Voiceover), and other technologies used by people with disabilities. Once tests are completed, our findings are presented in a written Audit Report that is reviewed with your team.
Corrective Action Plan (CAP)
Based on the audit results, a CAP is produced. Schools must create and submit the plan to OCR. This may include strategic goals, funding, responsibilities, and timelines. The CAP and the detailed audit report are submitted to OCR for approval.
Siteimprove can provide you with a Corrective Action Plan template and experienced Auditors will provide advice on how to create and implement your plan.
Once approved, the school must adopt the requirements as stated in the plan, including:
- Continuous manual testing, ongoing monitoring, and reporting using Siteimprove’s Intelligence Platform.
- Website accessibility training for employees.
Siteimprove offers a comprehensive training program with e-learning for you and your staff. Contact Siteimprove for more information.