Frequently Asked Questions
ATI and CAARP
What is the ATI Initiative?
- The California State University (CSU) system’s Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) was launched to ensure that information and communication technology is accessible
to all. The ATI, a coded memorandum from the CSU Office of the Chancellor, focuses
on three areas:
- Instructional materials, including books, lab manuals, handouts and other documents,
multimedia, and courses.
- Procurement, including purchases of information and communication technology and other
software for websites, computers, hardware, and multimedia.
- Websites, including webpages managed by each of the system’s 23 campuses.
- Since 2006, the CSU’s Accessible Technology Initiative has supported the annual self-
assessment of the campus’ capabilities for accessibility in the three areas detailed
What is CAARP?
- CAARP is the CSU Addressing Accessibility Requirements Project. SDSU, like other California
State University system schools, has developed a comprehensive CAARP Plan to improve
What are SDSU's goals with CAARP?
- SDSU, through its values of diversity and inclusion, is committed to prioritizing
efforts that improve accessibility for all. Through CAARP, the university’s goal is
to improve its Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI ) efforts.
- SDSU’s goals include improving campus wide visibility and understanding of accessibility
issues. The university community also committs to improvements to instructional materials,
the procurement process and web. The university and CSU goals are aligned with universal
How are other California State University system campuses involved with the Accessible
Technology Initiative (ATI) and the CSU Addressing Accessibility Requirements Project
- In 2018, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights increased the number
of notifications of accessibility investigations by 181%.
- With more than 12,000 students with disabilities registered at its campuses, the CSU
launched a project encouraging each of its campuses to review their accessibility
readiness and make appropriate investments to improve accessibility for students,
faculty, staff and general community members. Notably, on Feb. 19, 2019, Executive
Vice Chancellor Loren Blanchard sent a memo to all CSU presidents outlining several
critical steps required as part of an accelerated ATI campus plan.
- The ATI campus plans were due to Chancellor Tim White by Sept. 6, 2019 and will be
implemented in the years ahead. The request was made based on requirements defined
in federal law and the CSU’s Executive Order 1111, a policy reinforcing support and accommodations for people with disabilities.
Law and Policy
- The order is a CSU policy specific to offering support and accommodations to people
with disabilities. It states: "The California State University (CSU) is committed
to providing a diverse and supportive academic and work environment that facilitates
learning, teaching, working and conducting research for all students, employees and
visitors. It is CSU policy to ensure that individuals with disabilities shall have
equal access to and the opportunity to participate in CSU programs, activities and
- California Government Code 11135 requires all state agencies (including the CSU) to
implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (see below) and to apply the
federal accessibility standards to information and communication technology (ICT)
products and services the university opts to purchase, create, use and maintain.
What other laws and policies pertain to accessibility?
- A number of other laws and policies exist to ensure university design and accessibility
to all. Laws include Title II of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in all services, programs, and activities
provided to the public by State and local governments.
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that provides technical standards and guidelines for information
and communication technology developed, maintained or procured to ensure that people
with disabilities have equal access to and use of information and data as for those
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was enacted to ensure that people with disabilities receive the equal opportunities
and access, and may not be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity
receiving federal financial assistance.
Information and Support
I am a faculty member who uses learning management systems such as Blackboard or Canvas.
Are my online course materials automatically accessible?
- Not necessarily. While systems such as Blackboard and Canvas are generally accessible,
certain documents contained within the system may not be accessible. For example,
if you are loading PDFs into the system, you must ensure that the document is accessible
prior to uploading. Also, if you are utilizing streaming videos in the system, you
must ensure that the videos are accessible in the online environment, such as ensuring
that synchronized captions are available. Instructional Technology Services (ITS)
provides more information via its Instructional Material Accessibility webpage.
What is universal design?
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based educational framework that
guides the development of flexible learning environments. Such environments are designed
to accommodate individuals of varied learning differences. Universal design requires
the creation of curriculum that acknowledges, respects and responds to multiple means
of expression, of engagement and of ways of acquiring knowledge.
- SDSU’s Student Ability Success Center (SASC) provides more information via its Universal Design webpage.
Where can students go for support?
- SDSU’s Student Ability Success Center (SASC) provides appropriate academic accommodations for students with disabilities. The
center’s goal is to minimize barriers and ensure equal access for eligible students
with disabilities to higher education through academic support services, technology
and advocacy to promote student retention and graduation.
- Services and accommodations are available to students with documented disabilities,
including but not limited to students who have visual limitations, communication limitations,
learning disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, attentional disabilities, mobility
and other functional limitations, as well as those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- At SDSU, students initiate contact with Student Ability Success Center by providing
appropriate documentation to determine eligibility. Services and accommodations may
include note-taking, accommodated testing, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning
and textbooks in accessible formats. Qualified students may also have access to an
assistive technology lab, and to a grant-funded project that provides enhanced academic
and personal growth support. Internship and pre-employment services are available
through Workability IV program for students who are Department of Rehabilitation clients.
Students with temporary disabilities may request note-taking, assistance with test
taking, and cart service. The program currently serves over 1,600 students, which
includes undergraduate and graduate students.
- SASC staff members are located at the Calpulli Center, in Suite 3101, and are available
by calling 619-594-6473 or emailing [email protected]
Where can faculty or staff member go for support or help with accommodations and compliance.
- The Office of Employee Relations and Compliance advises and guides SDSU’s community
on policy and practice related to employee relations and compliance issues and ensures
that an equal and diverse campus community is available to all qualified individuals
on a non-discriminatory and non-harassment basis.
- The office also provides information about the Guidelines for the Assistive Device
/ Auxiliary Aid for Employees with Disabilities Program. The program is designed to
supplement department resources to purchase assistive devices or adaptive equipment
to facilitate the performance of job-related activities for SDSU employees who have
disabilities. The funds are available for requests made by permanent existing employees.
- The Office of Employee Relations and Compliance is available by calling 619-594-6464
or emailing [email protected]
Where can faculty member working on instructional materials go for support?
- SDSU’s Student Ability Success Center (SASC) provides information and resources for
faculty and staff, including instructional tools, information on how to provide accommodations,
syllabus statements and information about universal design. Information is available
via the center’s Faculty and Staff Resources webpage.