State websites must meet both the web accessibility standards in California Government Code 11135, which adopted the Section 508 Technical Standards (SubPart B) issued by the United States Access Board, and the Priority 1 and 2 level checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0 “AA” Conformance Level) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In addition, federal courts have already begun to enforce WCAG 2.0 standards.  It is highly recommended that state agencies adhere to WCAG 2.0 AA Guidelines and Success Criteria well to avoid legal ramifications, not only for the web but also for web applications, software, and documents. WCAG 2.0 Accessibility is organized under 4 principles:


  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
  • Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content.


  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Give users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures.
  • Help users navigate and find content.


  • Make text readable and understandable.
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools

These additions increase the level of accessibility and empowerment to your audience to create fully accessible websites and documents for the enjoyment of all.

State Agency Web page developers, designers, programmers, and content providers must become familiar with the standards and guidelines for achieving universal Web accessibility and must apply these principles.  Here are some resources for accessibility testing:

Resources for Testing Content
Resources for Testing Browsers
Resources for Testing Applications


Some resources for creating accessible PDFs, courtesy of the Department of Rehabilitation:

PDF Manual – Acrobat 7
PDF Manual – Acrobat 8
PDF Manual – Acrobat 9


Training on how to create and remediate documents for accessibility, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation:

Training Video Series


  1. gschau

    In regards to accessibility, are state websites required to publicly post the contact information of their ADA coordinator? Thanks, George Schau, EDD

      • Stacey Walker

        State entities are not specifically required to post the names of the individuals on their website. However, they are required to make the name, office address, and telephone number of the ADA Coordinator readily available to all interested individuals. You can check out the Department of Rehabilitation’s page on the Role of the ADA Coordinator for information.

Submit a Comment