FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
State Web Accessibility
While we have made great progress ensuring physical
accessibility in providing state services, people
with disabilities still face barriers in the digital
realm. People with disabilities should be able to
navigate state websites to find information, file
forms or apply for services just as any other
Californian can. Making website and web content
accessible will ensure this equality required by
state and federal laws.
This website is going to be the main resource of
information. For feedback and further answers on
the content of this site, an email can be sent to:
Government Code Section 11546.7 requires state
entity Directors/Secretaries and Chief Information
Officers to post on the homepage of the agency’s
or entity’s Internet Web site a signed
certification that the agency’s or entity’s
Internet Web site is in compliance with specified
accessibility standards by July 1, 2019 and every
other year thereafter. More about
Digital Accessibility Laws.
To meet the certification requirements of this policy, each
Agency/state entity may use the optional
Website Accessibility Certification form (DOC) in SIMM
Section 25B or develop an Agency/state entity specific form
that satisfies the statutory requirements. These certifications
must be signed by the Directors/Secretary and Chief Information
Officers and posted by the on the state entities' home pages by
July 1, 2019, and then on July 1 every other year thereafter.
The AB 434 certification should be publicly posted on the home
page of state entities’ websites.
Accessibility should be the responsibility of every person in the
chain of content creation, review, approval, distribution and
posting content to the website. Check out
Roles and Responsibilities
as the starting point to find out what you and other agency staff
are required to do to comply with AB 434, Government Code Section
An accessible website means that people with disabilities can
perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web, and
that they can contribute to the web. This is usually accomplished
by a combination of assistive technology (AT) used by the person
with a disability, and programing, coding, and designing by
content creators and website designers to ensure the AT works
with the website.
The latest version is WCAG 2.1
Yes. Website and Website content needs to comply with WCAG 2.1.
AT is technology, applications and devices, that allow people with
disabilities to interact with the web. This can include screen
readers that read what is displayed for people with visual disabilities
or speech enabling software that allows people with limited dexterity
to navigate and interact without using a mouse or a keyboard, and
For a system to truly be accessible, it must be usable for the person
employing assistive technology (AT) and provide an experience comparable
to a person not using assistive technology. Check out
Assessment for tools to conduct automated
and manual assessments to identify design issues. To determine if
content is accessible, check out these
Resources for Creating Accessible Content. Accessibility testing
includes using automated tools and online tools as well as user testing
utilizing assistive technology. Check all documents for accessibility as
part of your process just as you would when proofreading your documents.
We have found that Automated Testing only finds about 40% of
accessibility issues. Automated Testing is a good place to start
to find major issues. While we don’t endorse any external
automated tools, you may want to consider checking out
W3C Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List. On the list
are Compliance Sheriff, Acrobat XI Pro, and Tingtun PDF Checker.
There may be others on the list that will fit your needs for
Website Requirements to give you the assistance you need
to start determining if your website is compliant with the
Government Code Section 11546.7.
The state template that is available is accessible by default.
You can find the template on
Accessibility of the state template is affected by how departments
use it and the published content on the website. It is recommended
that an assessment be completed for an edited state website template.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series
of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility
Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main
international standards organization for the Internet. Following
the guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of
people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision,
deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive
limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities,
photosensitivity and combinations of these.
Prioritization can be determined by use and necessity.
The certification is based on state websites and content posted
on the pages. Website accessibility certification currently does
not apply to Web Applications.
Document And Content Accessibility
The Department of Rehabilitation’s Disability Access Services unit has guides with easy to follow instructions to
create accessible documents. Each guide provides step-by-step instructions to create accessible Microsoft documents in Word,
Excel, and PowerPoint. Check out these Resources for Creating Accessible Content.
Outside resources can also helpful in creating accessible content:
- US Digital Service: Design System Component
- Gov.UK Accessibility and Assisted Digital
The Department of Rehabilitation's Disability Access Services provides
guides to create accessible documents, test for accessibility and
provides easy to follow instructions. Check outthese
Resources for Creating Accessible Content.
Time required can vary widely. Best practices show that building accessibility
from the beginning is the most efficient and cost-effective method for achieving
accessibility. Accessibility features can be implemented as you create your
document and should not take much additional time in the document creation
process. Should you need to remediate a document, the time it can take will
vary based on its length and complexity. Depending on the changes made to make
the document accessible, the remediated document may not necessarily look the
same as the original document.
Translated documents that are public facing and/or official agency communication
should also conform to the accessibility requirements. For more information, check
out Section 508 Scoping Requirements for Electronic Content.
Accessibility should be the responsibility of every person in the chain
of content creation, review, approval, distribution and posting content
to the website. Check out
Roles and Responsibilities
as the starting point to find out what
you and other agency staff can do to comply with AB 434, Government
Code Section 11546.7.
Introductory training for web accessibility will be offered through the Department of Technology and can be found on the Training & Education Center Course Schedule .
Training classes for document accessibility are currently available at the Department of Rehabilitation:
- Accessible Microsoft Office Documents
- Accessible PDF Documents
Apply document accessibility practices to create/remediate the document
the same as you would do for English language PDFs.
- This includes setting the PDF document itself to the appropriate language.
Test accessibility by having someone who speaks the language use a screen reader to confirm it is being read correctly – there really is no other way to confirm this.
- If the tester is using JAWS, they must have the specific language file installed and ensure JAWS is set to that language in settings.