Accessible Technology

Accessibility Standards

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0AA

"Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 " is developed through the W3C Process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. These guidelines not only make pages more accessible to people with disabilities, but also have the benefit of improving the overall user experience and quality to all users using different browsers and devices.

The guidelines are written for a variety of audiences-web developers, content contributors, web accessibility evaluators, etc.


WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It is used with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.

Relevant Legislation

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

Under Section 508, agencies receiving Federal funds must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information comparable to the access available to others.

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

The U.S. Access Board is responsible for developing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility standards. On January 18, 2017, the US Access Board updated accessibility requirements covered by Section 508, and refreshed guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. The final rule went into effect on January 18, 2018.

The rule updated and reorganized the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines. The "refresh" also "harmonized" these requirements with other guidelines and standards both in the U.S. and abroad, including standards issued by the European Commission, and with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

The ADA is a major civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in the private and state and local government sectors. The ADA requires access to programs and services, transportation, the built environment, employment, and communication. Under the ADA, the Access Board develops and maintains accessibility guidelines for the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the law, as well as guidelines for the design of transportation vehicles. (Source: U.S. Access Board)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Section 255)

Section 255 of the Act requires telecommunications products and services to be accessible to people with disabilities. This is required to the extent access is "designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities when it is readily achievable to do so."(Source: U.S. Access Board)

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