Ohio State Web Accessibility Laws
Updated: June 3, 2019
Ohio established a Web Site Accessibility Policy to ensure people with disabilities have at least minimal access to the internet.
The policy requires compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, including compliance with Section 1194.22 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Ohio websites also follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, requiring a minimum compliance to Level A and Level AA standards.
In addition, “pages are periodically tested using assistive technology, such as a voice browser or screen reader program, and the website Administrator continually assesses the website to improve usability and accessibility.”
All information “provided on public-facing State of Ohio websites” must meet the minimum website accessibility requirements.
The web accessibility requirements should be applied to a website’s design, development, implementation, and maintenance. The minimum requirements for public-facing state websites to meet are:
- 2.1 Web page Accessibility Requirements: State of Ohio public-facing web pages should be compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A and Level AA.
- 2.1.1 “Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 shall take precedence when agencies have agreements in place with the federal government to make their websites Section 508 compliant.”
- 2.2 Outsourced Web Development: All contracted, in-kind, or other third-party website development must comply with WCAG 2.0, Level A and Level AA standards.
- 2.3 Accessibility Statements: Agency home pages must include an accessibility statement or provide a link to an accessibility statement. The accessibility statement must include:
- “A statement of compliance if compliance has been attained.”
- “A statement describing steps taken to ensure continuing compliance if compliance has been attained.”
- “A feedback mechanism for Internet visitors to report accessibility issues with the agency’s website.”
- 2.4 Implementation: The State of Ohio recognizes that full implementation of the requirements may require a “development period.” Therefore, they’ve established a general implementation framework which requires:
- 2.4.1 “Web pages created after the effective date of this policy shall be compliant.”
- 2.4.2 “If there is reasonable opportunity, Web pages created, but not yet implemented as of the effective date of this policy shall be compliant.”
- 2.4.3 “Web pages that are redesigned after the effective date of this policy shall be compliant.”
- 2.4.4 “Web pages that are already in place shall be made compliant, if not already, within a reasonable amount of time in consideration of the complexity and capability of the agency’s environment with priority given to the agency home page and Web pages that receive frequent traffic.”
- 2.4.5 “A process of incremental effort toward implementation of the management controls outlined in this policy shall begin.”
- 2.4.6 “All State of Ohio public-facing Web pages shall be compliant with this policy within two years of the effective date.”
To review the full policy, as well as explore resources to assist in web page accessibility, view the State of Ohio Administrative Policy for Web Accessibility.
As defined by the State of Ohio, the following are important definitions to know in relation to the State’s policy.
- Agency Home Page: The agency home page serves as the starting point to navigation for an agency site or agency presence. It is the first page presented when an Internet user navigates to an agency site or an agency presence on the World Wide Web.
- State of Ohio Websites: Websites developed and maintained by Ohio agencies, or under contracts administered by Ohio agencies.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.: WCAG 2.0 is a stable, referenceable technical standard. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA.
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.
Overview of NAD v. Harvard and NAD v. MIT Lawsuits
On Thursday, February 5, 2015, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University for allegedly violating U.S. accessibility laws. Please note that as of February 2020, after years…
3 Tips for Taking Conferences and Events Online
WAIT! Before you cancel your upcoming event, have you considered taking it online? Finding ways to connect online has become more important than ever before. But the community you build offline can translate just as well online. With a little planning and…
Shifting to Online Only Classes? Here Are 3 Tips to Get the Most out of a Virtual Classroom
Many U.S. colleges and universities are cancelling in-person classes in an effort to limit the spread of Coronavirus. As of March 11, sixty three institutions have cancelled in-person classes, and many of these institutions are moving to a virtual classroom to continue…