Web Accessibility Laws in the State of Vermont
Updated: March 16, 2021
The State of Vermont has adopted Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and W3C Web Accessibility Initiative standards and guidelines as the benchmark for their accessibility policy.
The standards and guidelines were published in the federal register on December 21, 2000, and implemented on June 21, 2001.
Section 508 requires all federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and public individuals. The recent refresh of Section 508 requires web sites to adhere to WCAG 2.0 standards.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.
W3C has developed the universal guidelines known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure websites are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Vermont’s policy includes guidelines, a checklist of design, and references for Vermont.gov websites.
As stated within the policy, the following standards must be met:
- A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided via “alt” (alternative text attribute), “longdesc” (long description tag), or in element content.
- Web pages shall be designed so that all information required for navigation or meaning is not dependent on the ability to identify specific colors.
- Changes in the natural language (e.g., English to French) of a document’s text and any text equivalents shall be clearly identified.
- Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
- Web pages shall update equivalents for dynamic content whenever the dynamic content changes.
- Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
- Client-side image maps shall be used whenever possible in place of server-side image maps.
- Data tables shall provide identification of row and column headers.
- 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, if used, shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation. Whenever possible, the use of frames will be avoided.
- Pages shall be usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or are not supported, or shall provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.
- Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
- An appropriate method shall be used to facilitate the easy tracking of page content that provides users of assistive technology the option to skip repetitive navigation links.
- Background colors will be avoided since color schemes can create problems with legibility.
- Multiple browser testing will be conducted on the current versions of all vendor-supported browsers composing at a minimum 3 percent of total usage on the site. Currently, these browsers include Google Chrome 49+, Safari 8+, Internet Explorer 9+ and Firefox versions 46+.
- The Official Web Site of the State of Vermont will have descriptive, intuitive text links and avoid the use of vague references such as “click,” “here,” “link,” or “this.”
To meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAA), the State of Vermont enacted a grievance procedure for a prompt resolution to complaints alleging violations of the ADA and/or ADAA. The grievance procedure is available to any Vermont state employee, department, agency, any instrumentality of the Executive Branch of the government of Vermont, and the public.
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