Accessibility of Website Design
The ADA Anniversary Tool Kit website (adaanniversary.org) is a collaboration of the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States.
This website is developed and maintained by the Southeast ADA Center – a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University and one of ten regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network – which is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) under Grant #90DP0019-01-00 to provide information, materials, and technical assistance to individuals and entities that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
We strive to ensure that the website is as aesthetically pleasing, useful, and most of all accessible to the widest audience possible. Our website design and development process is based and continually refined from usability research, user feedback, and established web accessibility guidelines: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508.
Contact For More Information or Assistance
If you have any questions or comments about this website, contact:
Southeast ADA Center
For information, questions or training on the ADA, contact your ADA Center:
ADA National Network
(Note: This number will automatically route your call to the regional ADA Center that serves your state.)
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The WCAG was established by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), The WCAG 2.0 (published 12/11/2008) supercede and are recommended over WCAG 1.0 (released 5/05/1999).
WCAG 2.0 has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 design principles of web accessibility: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Each principle has guidelines, and for each guideline, there are testable success criteria at three levels: A, AA, and AAA. The basis for determining conformance to the WCAG 2.0 are the success criteria. For a short summary of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, see WCAG 2.0 at a Glance.
WCAG 1.0 is organized around guidelines that have three checkpoints: priority 1 (must), 2 (should), or 3 (may) and address 2 major themes of accessible web design: ensuring graceful transformation and making understandable, navigable content. The basis for determining conformance to the WCAG 1.0 are the checkpoints. For information on the comparison and transition to 2.0, see How WCAG 2.0 Differs from WCAG 1.0.
The Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards were established through Section
508 of the Rehabilitation Act by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) of the U.S. Federal Government.
The Section 508 Standards define the types of technology provided and set forth provisions that establish a minimum level of accessibility within four subparts:
- A: General (defines terms, exemptions)
- B: Technical Standards (application criteria specific to various types of technology )
- C: Functional Performance Criteria (overall product evaluation and for technology not specifically covered in Subpart B )
- D: Information, Documentation, and Support (addresses access of materials provided to end users)
Within Section 508 Subpart B (Technical Standards), the provisions for Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications (1194.22) are specifically addressed in paragraphs (a) through (p). These sixteen provisions, initially based on WCAG 1.0, must all be followed for a website to be in compliance with the Section 508 Standards.