Accessibility at Arcadia

Arcadia University is committed to providing equal access to campus buildings, offices, and classrooms and equal opportunities to all programs and services for students, staff, faculty, and visitors with disabilities, in compliance with its obligations under federal and state laws. This page is devoted to accessibility related information. 

Physical Accessibility

Arcadia’s interactive campus map shows accessible walkways, building entrances, and handicap parking spaces.


Online Accessibility

Arcadia University strives to make Arcadia Website and online applications accessible to students, faculty, staff, and participants with disabilities. Arcadia University personnel will make fair efforts to create content that meets Accessibility Guidelines and law.


Defining Accessibility

Common Definitions

Accessible - People with disabilities have independent and timely access to electronic information and systems, sometimes with the use of assistive technology.

Alternative Text - Textual representation of visual content.

Assistive Technology - Software that enables people with disabilities to engage in electronic content. Examples include text to speech software (Kurzweil, JAWS), speech to text (Dragon Naturally Speaking), and enlargement software (Zoom Text, Magic).

Audio Description - A form of narration used to provide information surrounding key visual elements in a media work for blind and visually impaired participants.

Automatic Captions - Many streaming platforms provide auto-generated captioning with the aid of a computer using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). Zoom provides auto-captions for recorded meetings. YouTube also provides auto-captions for content. These captions often include errors and rely on a human to fix them. Without human editing, they do not provide equivalent access.

Closed Captions - Closed captions are different from subtitles in that they assume the audience cannot hear any audio, while subtitles provide text for dialogue only. Closed captions are time synced and are embedded in pre-recorded media. Only accurate and edited captions provide equivalent access.

Real-time Captioning - Sometimes referred to as live captioning or speech to text services. A trained and qualified speech to text professional provides live captioning during synchronous activities.

Screen Reader Software - Technology that renders text and image content to audio or braille output.

Section 508 - In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information comparable to the access available to others.

Transcript - A written document that provides text to all audio. They are often used as an alternative to audio only media, such as a podcast. They can also be used to create closed captions.

Universal Design - The design and content of an environment is created to be accessed and usable to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of disability status.

WCAG 2.1 - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and some accommodation for learning disabilities and cognitive limitations; but will not address every user need for people with these disabilities. These guidelines address accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines will also often make Web content more usable to users in general.

Accessibility Concern Form

Use the Accessibility Concern form for any questions, issues, or concerns regarding accessibility at Arcadia University.

Contact Information

Disability Support Services assists students in obtaining the services and reasonable accommodations required to ensure equal access to all aspects of the student experience and to assist the University in meeting its compliance obligations. Students seeking reasonable accommodations should consult the Disability Support Services Policy for Students for more information.

Employees who wish to request reasonable accommodations should contact the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. The University is committed to ensuring equal access to employment within the University. Employees should consult the Disability Support Services Policy for Employees and Applicants for more information.

Visitors needing accommodations should contact the person, office, or department hosting the event.