During the implementation of your redesigned website, we recommend utilizing this opportunity to review and update the content on your site. This Preparation Guide highlights key areas that often require review. In general, we advise that you review the full CivicEngage Content Best Practices Guide for detailed information on accessibility principles to enhance conformance and optimize content usability for your users.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights legislation that was created to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to commercial, state, and local government facilities; it does not define technical standards for web accessibility. Website-based ADA lawsuits, complaints, and Department of Justice settlements reference Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA compliance.
Section 508 requires electronic and information technology of Federal agencies to be accessible to people with disabilities. To be compliant with Section 508 electronic content must conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were developed to make content accessible to people with disabilities and users in general. WCAG accounts for accessibility on various devices and considers many different disabilities. Three levels of conformance are used in WCAG:
- A: Ensures users can access web content
- AA: Ensures users can easily access web content
- AAA: Ensures easy access to web content for specific users (not applicable to all content)
WCAG is based on four principles of web accessibility: accessible content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.