DRAFT - Accessibility and Usability Policy

DRAFT - Accessibility and Usability Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide standards, guidelines, guidance and techniques for the development of accessible Web site content provided by City of St. Louis offices, agencies, and departments for the benefit of citizens, employees and visitors, including those with disabilities. We also recognizes the City's obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability civil rights laws to provide equal access to all City programs and activities.

2. Scope

To adopt a set of website accessibility recommendations as the single, applicable accessibility standard for all websites operated by Offices, Agencies, and Departments housed on the City's standard infrastructure.

3. Background

A website can be inaccessible for many people. Perhaps the most obvious is that a screen can be useless for a person who is blind.

Adaptive technologies have been created to solve many of these problems. But, it is necessary for websites to be designed in a way that interacts effectively with those technologies.

The technology that blind people use to read websites is called a “screen reader.” The screen reader electronically scans text and voices it so that the blind person can hear what has been written.

Webpages using non-compliant code can give screen readers problems. For example, if there are pictures on the page, there is no text for the screen reader to voice. Therefore, alt tags or other techniques must be inserted in the page so that the screen read can voice a description of what is shown by the picture. A picture of a woman looking out a window might have an alt tag that say, “Woman looking out window.”

4. Definitions

Screen readers: A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more accurately, sent to standard output, whether a video monitor is present or not).

5. Legislation

Section 508 - Federal Access Board’s Section 508 guidelines, Subpart B (Technical Standards), paragraphs 1194.22 (a)-(p)

6. Policy

At the core of the web accessibility standards is:

View the Web Accessibility Standards & Guidelines

7. Procedure

8. Verification / Authorization / Approved by

Subject to review of Website Policy Committee on 11/16/2011


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