The information on this webpage has changed as of October 1st, 2023, to reflect the new EEAAP process in AdobeSign.  EEAAPs are no longer created in ServiceNow.

What is the Purpose of an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan? (EEAAP)

When ICT products or services do not fully conform to Section 508 accessibility standards, an EEAAP provides a pre-planned alternate access method that bypasses known accessibility barriers. With an EEAAP, users who may be affected by known accessibility barriers will have a way to get relief and reduce the burden accessibility barriers may present. In addition, the EEAAP process makes barriers known to the end-user upfront before interacting with the product; these choices save time and reduce frustration for those affected.

Proactive EEAAP (508) Versus Individualized Accommodations (504)

Note that an EEAAP is not an accommodation plan; EEAAPs are created proactively to address specific technology barriers and name alternate solutions to that technology that will apply to a group of affected users. Accommodations are reactive and occur on a per-person basis. If an EEAAP states, "contact OSD for assistance, " it has been created incorrectly and provides no value. Individualized accommodations will always occur when necessary; we don't need an EEAAP to tell us that.

When is an EEAAP Created?

As technology is rarely 100% accessible, EEAAPs are usually created during the accessible procurement process, especially if a high-impact product or service has a significant accessibility barrier. Occasionally, an EEAAP is required later when accessibility barriers are discovered once the technology has been in use. A common reason for creating an EEAAP later includes product revisions that negatively impact accessibility or if a vendor has not addressed known issues.

To recap, an EEAAP is required when:

  • The technology has a significant accessibility barrier (an issue that would prevent someone from using the technology for its intended purpose or "core function")

And when any of the following are also true:

  • The technology isn't for a single user but for multiple users
  • Technology is a required component of a student's coursework or an employee's workflow
  • The technology is intended to be used for the foreseeable future (not a pilot)

Ensuring an EEAAP is High Quality

A thoughtful EEAAP will indicate:

  • Clear information about the product's known accessibility barrier(s) 
  • Who may be affected, including scenarios or use cases
  • Any technology dependencies that either cause the issue or are part of a workaround
  • A solution that provides the same or similar outcomes and convenience for the end-user
  • Personnel and resources required to provide an alternative solution
  • How and by which means a user will get help if they experience a problem; an accessibility statement
  • Frequent revisions, at least annually, and to coincide with technology renewal or significant updates to the technology

What an EEAAP should not contain:

  • Generic accommodation statements instructing the student to contact the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD)
  • Generic support statements that do not outline an effective alternative
  • Personnel named in an EEAAP solution must be aware of their role, and they should actively participate during the EEAAP process. Do not name personnel without informing those individuals of their role in contributing to an alternative solution.

Initiating the EEAAP Process

Review the sections below if you have received an EEAAP to complete via AdobeSign or before attempting to initiate an EEAAP yourself. Typically, EEAAPs are initiated by ITS Accessibility Service as a component of an ITC Purchase Approval Request accessibility review process. However, there is also a template in AdobeSign where users can create an EEAAP from scratch.

In the typical case where the EEAAP is a part of the ICT-PAR process, it will be received by the college or department ITC with pre-populated accessibility barrier information and an accessibility statement obtained during the accessibility review process by ITS Accessibility Services.

The EEAAP document is first routed to the ITC named in the ITC-PAR and then to the product requester and appropriate administrators of the college or department. Finally, it returns to ITS Accessibility Services for review and upload to the ACR Repository. EEAAPs are reviewed at each product renewal.

The Information Technology Consultant (ITC) assigned to your college or division is the first person to receive the EEAAP via AdobeSign.

An updated list of ITCs is available on the Information Technology Services webpage.

The ITC should work with the product requester to complete the section of the EEAAP "Describe the Alternate Means of Access." In addition, the ITC should review the accessibility statement and provide contact information.  Click on the next section for more information on completing the required portions of the EEAAP.

The ITC should complete the following sections on behalf of, and in conjunction with, the product requester:

Review the Accessibility Statement and Provide Contact Information

The accessibility statement already contains the accessibility barriers information and the end-users who may be affected. The ITC must work with the product requester to determine the contact information for a real person so that an individual affected by this accessibility barrier can instead initiate the EEAAP alternative solution to reduce frustration and effort. Include a real person's name and at least two methods of contact. Do not require that the end-user contact this person at a specific location or time.

Describe the Alternative Solution for the End-User

In this section, the ITC must ask the product requester to determine an alternative method for end-users to achieve the same desired outcome without using the product with accessibility barriers.

For example, suppose the product is used to retrieve and submit homework or assignments. In that case, the professor should outline an alternative method to retrieve and submit assignments that will not rely on the inaccessible product. To be truly effective, this alternative should be available to the student whenever the regular method is available. In other words, if the alternative method requires the student to retrieve or submit homework or assignments during specific business hours or at a particular location, the alternative isn't equally effective, as the regular method would always be available to students.

The alternative needs some careful thought, and typically, only the product requester can speak to an alternative because they are the individuals who know how they are going to use the product in the first place.

Once the ITC, in conjunction with the product requester, has completed the EEAAP, it will route for signatures and final approval from ITS Accessibility Services.

The completed EEAAP will be stored in the ACR Repository within the folder for the product.

Publish the Accessibility Statement Wherever the Product Resides

The product requester must alert end-users of accessibility barriers. This is accomplished primarily by publishing the accessibility statement wherever the product is used. For faculty, an accessibility statement should be present on the course syllabus where the technology will be used. In addition, if the technology is accessed from a website under Cal State LA's control, an accessibility statement should also be present to alert users of the known accessibility barriers and methods to request support.