PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to state and affirm Colorado State University’s commitment to creating and sustaining a welcoming, accessible and inclusive campus. An inclusive physical and virtual design enhances usability for everyone and helps create a campus environment in which we support, protect and respect rich dimensions of diversity.
Through a broad and inclusive definition of diversity, we recognize that historical exclusion and marginalization require active measures to promote equity. Barriers exist that can prevent individuals from fully accessing and enjoying the benefits of our facilities, educational opportunities, and information in the same way that other individuals do. This policy guides our campus design to reflect our commitment to excellence and inclusion.
APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY
This policy applies to Colorado State University facilities including new construction, existing and renovated facilities, in addition to university methods for communication and information. All University academic, administrative and business units must abide by this policy.
EXEMPTIONS FROM THIS POLICY
Exemptions for virtual design include archived content, legacy web pages, and any other content that is an exception as set forth in CSU’s Accessibility of Electronic Information and Technologies policy (EIT policy).
DEFINITIONS USED IN THIS POLICY
Accessible refers to making physical environments equitably available to all. It means information and facilities are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, so they can acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as individuals without disabilities. “Accessible” with respect to electronic information and technologies is defined in CSU’s EIT policy.
Diversity includes the broad, intersecting and inclusive characteristics that make one individual or group different from another including, but not limited to: age, culture, different ideas and perspectives, disability, ethnicity, first generation status, familial status, gender identity and expression, geographic background, marital status, national origin, race, religious and spiritual beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status.
Inclusion means working, learning, research, and service environments that are mindful of every member reaching their full potential. Inclusion intentionally values all voices and contributors, while mitigating intentional and unintentional incidents of bias.
Inclusive Features are physical and virtual elements that enhance usability and the well-being of individuals. Some examples of inclusive features are: lactation rooms, reflection spaces, gender-inclusive restrooms, break rooms, wheelchair access, curb cuts, commuter showers, wayfinding, and accessible electronic information and communication.
Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
The University’s commitment to an inclusive campus contributes to the well-being and success of our students, staff, faculty, and visitors. CSU actively fosters the inclusive environment by removing barriers, proactively planning, and anticipating inclusivity needs. Equitable access to University resources and facilities supports teaching, learning, living, commuting, working, visiting, and engaging in discovery. The University commits to the continual enhancement and systematic review of our virtual and built environments through the creation and implementation of inclusive design standards and best practices.
CSU anticipates the needs of all users and builds inclusion into the design process through the incorporation of universal design principles and inclusivity best practices. Inclusive standards will be created, maintained, and incorporated into all CSU building and signage standards and be upheld by all CSU divisions and units to provide campus-wide consistency. These standards meet the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) requirements and may be different from them in some respects. Virtual design standards are outlined in CSU’s EIT policy. The Inclusive Physical and Virtual Campus policy does not amend or supersede the EIT policy.
Applicability to Leased Space
The Inclusive Physical and Virtual Campus Committee (IPVCC) will work with Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF) to ensure all parties to a lease give ample consideration to accessibility and inclusivity of their spaces. All campus units will comply with this policy in the leasing process.
Evaluation of the inclusiveness of leased spaces shall occur when beginning or renewing leases. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to: intended occupancy, intended use of the leased space, square footage, lease term, proximity to other CSU buildings, and availability of other suitable properties.
Responsibilities of the University Campus Climate Committee (UCCC)
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity leads the University’s efforts towards inclusion and diversity, with the Vice President for Diversity (VPD) appointing members to the UCCC. Under the direction of the VPD, the UCCC appoints members to the IPVCC.
Responsibilities of the Inclusive Physical and Virtual Campus Committee (IPVCC)
The IPVCC is a subcommittee of the UCCC. The IPVCC receives direction and guidance from the UCCC on prioritization of inclusivity efforts. The IPVCC is an operational organization that creates progress towards campus climate strategic goals.
The IPVCC includes representatives from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Facilities Management, Student Disability Center, Assistive Technology Resource Center, Student Diversity Programs and Services, Parking and Transportation Services, student leadership, and others as needed.
The IPVCC is charged with creating and maintaining inclusive design standards and guidelines using the Facilities Management process. The committee reviews new construction and renovation projects’ compliance with these inclusivity standards. The committee is charged with ensuring that an annual or periodic audit is conducted of existing buildings for compliance and to identify high-priority needs. The committee also considers instances of hardship and requests for waivers.
Responsibilities of Facilities Management
Facilities Management is responsible for ensuring architects, engineers, designers, and contractors adhere to CSU’s building construction standards. Project conceptualization and design will integrate inclusive elements as building requirements. Facilities Management is also responsible for assisting campus units in identifying suitable locations for inclusive features as defined above.
Waivers to CSU’s building construction standards will be reviewed by the Associate Vice President of Facilities Management or designee. Disputes regarding a waiver that cannot be resolved will be referred to the Vice President for University Operations, whose decision will be final.
All new construction will include budgeted costs associated with inclusive features. Renovations and additions should also incorporate inclusive features, the costs of which will be included in the project budget.
In some circumstances, campus units may choose to incorporate inclusive features within their areas apart from proposed new construction or remodel projects. In these cases, each unit will need to identify funds or submit a budget request. Retrofitting existing facilities promotes consistency in design and equitable access to University resources.
Any new standards for inclusive features that have a substantive financial impact must be approved by the Operations Committee of the Cabinet.
In regard to virtual inclusivity and accessibility, as per CSU’s EIT policy, “Those responsible for the creation of information that is shared through EIT will be responsible for making its content accessible with guidance from the Web Accessibility Subcommittee and the Assistive Technologies Resource Center.”
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Division of External Relations, President’s Sustainability Committee, Facilities Management, and other departments and offices, as necessary, will collaborate to disseminate information promoting awareness and utilization of inclusivity features.
The UCCC will ensure the creation and maintenance of an Inclusivity Webpage. Contents of this webpage will detail how to access inclusive features and related resources. The webpage will provide information in accessible formats. Training or information, as needed, will be provided to departments, faculty, staff and students to further enable the utilization of inclusive features.
COMPLIANCE WITH THIS POLICY
The IPVCC and Facilities Management will address issues that arise from the application of this policy and provide compliance assistance. A form will be made available on the Inclusivity Website for individuals to report campus inclusivity issues. The IPVCC will refer issues concerning accessibility of electronic information and technologies to the Web Accessibility Subcommittee for assistance with compliance.
Approved by Anthony A. Frank, CSU President, June 15, 2017