Accessible design is all around us. Think about the public places we share with others. We expect to find accessible parking spaces, ramps to enter buildings, automatic switches to open doors, and elevators where there are multiple levels. We are so accustomed to these design features that we are often shocked when they are not available.
When correctly applied, these design features increase the user experience for everyone by lowering or removing barriers to access.
This concept also applies to technology. Since people interact with technology on a daily basis, we must design our websites for all users including those with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive disabilities.
Federal Legislation and Boise State policy require accessible web content
Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are the key pieces of federal legislation governing accessibility. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures individuals with disabilities are not denied the benefits of services, programs or activities of Boise State, including content on our WordPress public-facing websites.
As of 2010 census, 1 in 5 people in the United States reported having a disability. By the 2020 census, this number will likely be even higher.
In addition, Boise State policies #8140: IT Accessibility and #8040: University Webpages and Electronic Publications require University public-facing websites to comply with WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines.
Public Facing Websites Must Meet Level AA Conformance
To achieve an accessible web environment, Boise State is following version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
WCAG is a set of 61 measurable standards for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It has three conformance levels: A, AA, and AAA.
Boise State’s public facing web pages must comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA.