Texas State Web Accessibility Laws
Many US states – the Lone Star State included – have adopted federal accessibility policies to implement and enforce their own regulations on web accessibility. Texas outlines several regulations for state agency websites as well as institution of higher education websites.
Texas Administrative Code
All web pages created or updated since September 1, 2006 are required to comply with several standards outlined in Section 508, in addition to standards and specifications applicable to a state agency’s and an institution of higher education’s accessibility policy, described in §213.21 and §213.41 respectively.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
The standards delineated in Section 508 require that:
- A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided. This can be done by alt text, longdesc, or in element content.
- Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup
- Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet
- Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map
- Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape
- Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables
- Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers
- Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation
- Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz
In addition to the requirements adopted from Section 508, state agency and institution of higher education web pages must also meet several additional policies including:
- Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a real time production which support the mission of either the state agency or institution of higher education’s (such as a training or informational video) the agency or institution must consider alternative forms of accommodation.
- When compliance cannot be accomplished, it is necessary to provide an alternative version of the page with identical information and functionality. All content on the alternative version page is required to be updated whenever changes are made to the original page.
- Unless an exception has been made for specific technologies, all new or changed website designs must be tested by the state agency or institution of higher education using at least one Section 508 compliance tool, in combination with manual procedures, to validate compliance.
- Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education are required to outline an accessibility policy which is to include criteria for monitoring its website for compliance with the required standards and specifications.
- When designing each state website, consideration should be made for both current and emerging Internet technologies available to the general public.
Learn About Other U.S. State Accessibility Laws
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