California State Web Accessibility Laws
Updated: June 3, 2019
California is one of the leading advocates of web accessibility in the US, with state laws and public policies which refer directly to the federal law Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Section 508 outlines specific accommodations that are required to make electronic communications and information technologies accessible to people with disabilities. The Section 508 refresh adds more clarity to web accessibility rules by making WCAG 2.0 the standard of choice.
The California Government Code §11135(d) requires that all electronic and information technology created or used by the state must be fully accessible. It acknowledges that:
California State University outlines a fairly comprehensive web accessibility policy, with specific enforcement measures to ensure compliance with Section 508. To enforce this, the state uses software to automatically evaluate the accessibility of a website; human due diligence is encouraged in addition.
The university’s robust FAQ page spells out the benefits and characteristics of an accessible website, including “transcripts or captions for audio, video, and multimedia content.”
California Community Colleges’ Online Education Initiative offers resources to help state schools make their online documents, videos, and files accessible to students with disabilities.
California Government Code §11546.7
On October 14, 2017 the California government passed California Government Code §11546.7.
The new law states that by July 1, 2019, state agencies and state entities must ensure their websites comply with “WCAG 2.0 Level AA, or a subsequent version, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.”
“Subsequent version” demonstrates that the state is allowing for future adoptions of the standards beyond WCAG 2.0, and therefore state agencies and entities must adapt accordingly.
In addition, state agencies and state entities must include a certification of compliance with the new law on their home page.
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.
This article was originally posted on September 25, 2015 by Emily Griffin and has been updated.
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…