State websites must meet both the web accessibility standards in California Government Code 11135, which adopted the Section 508 Technical Standards (SubPart B) issued by the United States Access Board, and the Priority 1 and 2 level checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0 “AA” Conformance Level) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In addition, federal courts have already begun to enforce WCAG 2.0 standards. It is highly recommended that state agencies adhere to WCAG 2.0 AA Guidelines and Success Criteria well to avoid legal ramifications, not only for the web but also for web applications, software, and documents. WCAG 2.0 Accessibility is organized under 4 principles:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
- Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
- Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning.
- Make it easier for users to see and hear content.
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
- Give users enough time to read and use content.
- Do not use content that causes seizures.
- Help users navigate and find content.
- Make text readable and understandable.
- Make content appear and operate in predictable.
- Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
- Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools
These additions increase the level of accessibility and empowerment to your audience to create fully accessible websites and documents for the enjoyment of all.
State Agency Web page developers, designers, programmers, and content providers must become familiar with the standards and guidelines for achieving universal Web accessibility and must apply these principles. Here are some resources for accessibility testing: