The internet is a source of entertainment, news, commerce, education and much more. However, many people with disabilities struggle to access this key resource. Web accessibility ensures that people with disabilities can use the web effectively no matter how they access the site. It asks that web developers consider alternative access methods when building sites, that forms are labeled, that text is used to describe pictures that mean something on the page, and that pages are structured in a way that make sense to someone who can't see them. Web accessibility has other benefits as well, well designed pages load more quickly, take less space on your server, and will transport more easily to mobile devices. The resources below offer some important information on web site accessibility.

Relevant Archived Webinars

The Northeast ADA Center has several archives of webinar presentations on website accessibility and informational technology. All slides, transcripts, and audio/visual presentation archives can be accessed free of charge by anyone. Access all archived webinars on this topic.

Web Accessibility Resources

University of Washington: Do-It (Disability Opportunity Internetworking and Technology)

Do-It produces publications and videos focused on accessible information technology and assistive technology. There is also some information on mentoring and success in post-secondary education.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

WCAG 2.0 is a stable, referenceable technical standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA.

Section 508

Section 508 is an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act which requires all federal agencies to make their electronic information and resources accessible for individuals with a disability. The website has information about electronic accessibility laws and regulations and training. Businesses could benefit from the training which covers topics ranging from buying accessible technology to holding accessible events.

WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WAVE is developed and made available as a free community service by WebAIM. Originally launched in 2001, WAVE has been used to evaluate the accessibility of millions of web pages.

Department of Justice Rule on Web Site Accessibility

Update: In this document, entitled Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability: Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Governments the Department of Justice proposed revisions to both the title II and title III ADA regulations in order to provide guidance on the obligations of covered entities to make programs, services and activities offered over the Web accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Northeast ADA Center will post links to the new regulations as soon as they are available.

U.S. Access Board

Access Board is a federal agency that develops guidelines to ensure that buildings, transportation, and telecommunications technology are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Access to information and communication technology (ICT) is addressed by the Access Board standards and guidelines issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. Learn more from the Access Board Guidelines and Standards on Communications website.

First Steps: Web Accessibility at Colleges and Universities

This fact sheet reviews the regulations that apply to the websites of colleges and universities and provides a series of yes/no questions that are important to keep in mind when developing a comprehensive web accessibility policy. While intended for postsecondary institutions, it may also be useful for other types of organizations interested in creating a web accessibility strategy.

Starting to Think About Web Accessibility: A Short Introduction and Beginning Questions

This fact sheet briefly reviews the status of web accessibility regulations under Title II and III of the ADA and provides a list of questions based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to use as a beginning tool to use as a means of thinking about website accessibility.

To receive additional assistance with understanding how to make websites accessible, please contact the Northeast ADA Center Technical Assistance team!