Web Accessibility

In response to the need to ensure equal access to electronic and information technologies, we have developed a set of standards for Web page design. We are committed to providing an accessible web presence that enables the public full access to government information and services. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.

Understanding that government has a responsibility to provide service to all citizens and businesses in its jurisdiction, We will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate users by following the W3C recommendations and Section 508 guidelines. This policy describes these accessibility standards and may be updated periodically.

This site was coded to comply with both the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Priority 1 Level Checkpoints of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Along with Priority 1 compliance, efforts have been made to ensure compatibility with common technologies utilized by the adaptive community.

Design Standards

These standards are influenced by those recommended by the W3C and Access Board. The Access Board is responsible for developing the standards outlined by the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1998. Universal design calls for appropriate use auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure communication.

Every graphic image will have an "alt" tag and a short description that is intuitive to the user. If a graphic image is used as a navigation element, it will contain text description and direction that is intuitive to the user. Decorative graphics, such as bullets, will be set with an "alt" tag of <empty> as to not impede screen readers.

For every graphic element that uses an image map, alternative text of the hyperlink will be provided.

This website will have descriptive, intuitive text links and avoid the use of vague references such as "click," "here," "link," or "this."

An alternative form of access will be made available for online forms, such as an email address or phone number.

The use of frames will be avoided since they cannot be read intelligently by screen readers, create navigation problems and are not supported by all browsers. We cannot be held responsible for sites outside the network that utilize frames.

Multiple browser testing will be conducted on current versions of popular browsers.

The Law

The Section 508 Web Site is an excellent source for general information, standards, evaluation, events, and resources surrounding Section 508, which will impact electronic and information technology on the Web.

http://www.section508.gov/

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended for the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The content of this document directly relates to the Federal government and any public or private industry contracting with the Federal government.

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/508law.html

Title II, Section 508 speaks directly to state, local governments and all other public entities. This highlights page provides a concise overview, abbreviated information on specific chapters that must comply with ADA standards and information about the complaint and enforcement process.

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/t2hlt95.htm

Additional Resources

The Web Accessibility Checklist - From the W3C, this checklist covers all three priority levels of compliance.

http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/full-checklist.html

The Web Page Accessibility Checklist from the Department of Justice

http://www.section508.gov/