Alabama State Web Accessibility Laws

November 30, 2015 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: June 3, 2019

In the 1970s, Alabama passed the Handicapped Persons Code, a statewide policy designed “to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled to
participate fully in the social and economic life of the state.”

It specified that Alabamans with “nonambulatory disabilities, semiambulatory disabilities, sight disabilities, hearing disabilities, disabilities of incoordination and aging” deserve equal access to state services, facilities, and information.

In the digital age, full inclusion of people with such disabilities means making sure that government websites are designed accessibly.

Federal accessibility law underwent a refresh of Section 508 to specify inclusive web design standards that should be followed, modeled after international WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

In 2011, Alabama reaffirmed its commitment to accessibility by adopting its own state web accessibility policy. The policy, Standard 530S2-00: Universal Accessibility, applies to all Alabama state websites with or domains.

Requirements for Alabama state websites include:

  • Images require alt text, especially for navigation icons
  • >Decorative graphics should have an <empty> alt tag
  • For every graphic element that uses an image map, alternative text of the hyperlink shall be provided
  • Links must have descriptive, intuitive anchor text
  • Alternative forms of access should be provided instead of filling out online forms (e.g., provide an email or phone number)
  • Do not use frames, since they cannot be read intelligently by screen readers, create
    navigation problems, and are not supported by all browsers
  • Accessibility testing is required across multiple browsers

These are the design elements specifically listed in the Alabama web accessibility policy. However, it also provides links to the W3C universal design checklist and Section 508 information, which encourage more comprehensive accessibility.

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