Minnesota State Web Accessibility Laws
The state of Minnesota is committed to web accessibility. It joins several other states with web accessibility laws that reference Section 508.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is the federal disability law that details minimum standards for accommodating people with disabilities in digital communication. While Section 508 applies to offices and websites that belong to the federal government, states can adopt their own “little 508s,” too. In 2009, Minnesota did just that.
Assistive Technology Bill
In May, 2009, Minnesota passed the Assistive Technology Bill (Chapter Law 131/HF 1744). The bill was designed to address issues of inclusive design for state electronic and information technology.
The bill prompted the creation of STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results), which is a federally-funded program for matching Minnesotans with assistive technologies they need.
State of Minnesota’s Accessibility Standard
Minnesota’s official state accessibility standard went into effect in October 2013, replacing previous versions. It calls for “all impacted State information systems, tools and information content” to comply with WCAG 2.0 level AA and Section 508 web accessibility standards.
WCAG 2.0 level AAA compliance is encouraged, but not required.
The standard applies to all software or digital products used, created, managed, or updated by Minnesota state executive branch agencies. Legislative, judicial and other state-run organizations are encouraged to follow this standard.
The standard offers several exceptional cases in which it does not need to be followed. Such cases include the usual Section 508 defenses of undue hardship or fundamental alteration, but it also allows for leeway with emergency purchases, cases of national security, and several other conditions.
Minnesota Accessible Design Resources
The Minnesota IT Services website makes available several resources for accessible design on state government websites.
They offer guidance on:
- Accessible Digital Documents
- Implementation Toolkit
- IT Procurement Best Practices
- Making Meetings Accessible
- Making Multimedia Accessible
- Remediating Websites and Applications
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Learn About Other U.S. State Accessibility Laws
Click on the map below to learn more about captioning and web accessibility laws in other states.
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