Web Accessibility &
It is essential that the web provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse disabilities. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes access to the Web, as a basic human right.
In today’s digital world, accessibility compliance reaches far beyond physical modifications to buildings and curbs. Ensuring site visitors who have visual disabilities, difficulty reading and problems browsing with a mouse can fully access utility websites is vital to providing accessible services to the community.
To help promote the creation and maintenance of compliant websites, we’ve built several key features into the our web design process and platform including:
- Enhanced print functionality
- Mouse-free navigation with landing tiles
- Larger font sizes for vision impairment with on-page zoom functionality
- Required alt-tags
- Form field labels
While implementing a compliant accessible design is an important step, utility organizations and cooperatives who prioritize accessibility must also know how to create and maintain compliant content. Our curriculum-based accessibility training courses and other services are designed to empower your staff.
Details and background on accessibility
With the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, many entitles are required to provide equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination with regard to government services, public accommodations, facilities and transportation. The revisions of Section 508 in 2017 applies to eliminating technology barriers for people with disabilities.
How does this impact our utility organizations?
Section 508 applies to any federal government website and the site of any organization doing business with the federal government or accepting federal funds. If your statewide association works with any type of federal agency then you likely will meet this criteria, thus you’re legally required to comply with Section 508.
In addition, courts have stated that a website is considered a public place of accommodation. In this case it can be seen as segregation and discrimination if your website ignores these guidelines.
What standard should we reference?
Section 508 applies to the U.S. only and was a dated standard in created in 2001 that updated was revised in 2017 to recognize the international standard, WCAG 2.0. As an industry leader we reference WCAG 2.0 A and AA when building sites.