HomeDecorative ElementBlogDecorative ElementWebsite Development
What is the Accessibility Law for Colorado State and Local Government?
The State of Colorado has enacted the Information Technology Law (HB 18-1189) in accordance with its commitment to equal access to information and services for all its residents. This law is aimed at ensuring that state and local government websites meet the requisite accessibility standards. This summary encapsulates the salient points of the law and the necessary steps that government organizations should take to comply with its provisions.

What is the Accessibility Law for Colorado State and Local Government?

The State of Colorado has enacted the Information Technology Law (HB21-1110) in accordance with its commitment to equal access to information and services for all its residents. This law is aimed at ensuring that state and local government websites meet the requisite accessibility standards. This summary encapsulates the salient points of the law and the necessary steps that government organizations should take to comply with its provisions.

The law mandates that all state agencies and political subdivisions should make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities. It is geared towards making sure that every Coloradan, regardless of their physical abilities, can access information and services provided by the government. The law takes its cue from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, a set of international standards that are widely recognized in the digital industry. It requires all state and local government sites to meet these standards, effectively ensuring that their digital content is accessible to all. All State agencies and local governments must be compliant with state standards by July 1, 2024.

Steps To Meeting 2024 ADA Standards

To ensure compliance with the law, state and local government organizations need to take several critical steps.

First, state and local government organizations should conduct an audit of their current websites and digital platforms to evaluate the level of accessibility. This audit should be thorough and cover all aspects of the site, including images, text, forms, and multimedia content.

Based on the audit, organizations should identify areas that need improvement, and develop a plan to address the identified shortcomings. The plan should be comprehensive, detailing the changes to be made, the timeline for these changes, and the person or team responsible for implementation.

Next, state and local government organizations need to implement a plan. This may necessitate hiring or consulting with experts in digital accessibility and training for staff on how to create and maintain accessible digital content.

Once the plan has been implemented, accessibility compliance work has only just begun. It is crucial to monitor and maintain the accessibility of the site on an ongoing basis. Changes in content, technology, and user needs will necessitate ongoing adjustments. Regular audits should be conducted to ensure continued compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

In conclusion, the Accessibility Law for Colorado State and Local Government is a vital step towards digital inclusion for all Colorado citizens. Government organizations should take active steps not just to comply with the law, but also to ensure that their services are accessible to all Coloradans, thereby affirming their commitment to equality and inclusivity.

How can Fruition Assist its Partners with Meeting Accessibility (ADA) Compliance Requirements?

Fruition is a leading expert in ensuring websites meet Accessibility (ADA) Compliance requirements and is positioned to assist Colorado State and Local Government partners in meeting and exceeding these standards.

Our services are designed to bring your website's code and theme layer into compliance with ADA WCAG 2.2 AA requirements. We can work with you to determine the necessary effort to strive towards accessibility compliance, regardless of whether your website is in the building stage, newly launched, or already existing. While we do not provide legal advice, our services are tailored to align your digital presence with the highest standards of accessibility and inclusivity.

Fruition offers two levels of accessibility services for new and existing websites:

Accessibility Services For New Websites

Our basic service includes Automated Scans and Remediation. As part of a new website build project, we will conduct automated scans and tests for compliance with WCAG 2.2 AA accessibility using third-party software. All issues revealed by the scans that violate WCAG 2.2 A & AA best practices will be remediated by our team before site launch. This service focuses on code, templates, and assets that are controllable within the building of the website, but does not include UI/Design accessibility testing, or testing of third-party imbeds, migrated content, or PDFs. It's important to note that the basic service approach does not guarantee that a website will be ADA-compliant at launch.

For a more comprehensive approach on a new website build project, our premium service includes Manual Review/Live User Testing and Remediations. Automated ADA compliance scans generally flag only 25% to 30% of the WCAG 2.2 A & AA guidelines. The remaining guidelines can only be tested via manual user testing using various screen readers and other accessibility tools. Premium service includes a manual review of a specified number of templates/components, review, feedback, verification, and consulting during Design, Development, and QA, and user testing upon completion of the site. Additionally, we provide conformance documentation and an Accessibility Statement.

Accessibility Services For Existing Websites

In addition to the New Website Build ADA compliance services, Fruition also offers Accessibility (ADA) Compliance services for existing websites, and/or post-launch to ensure your website remains compliant as your website evolves along with the ever-changing ADA standards. As your site is frequently updated with new content, images, alt-tags, menu and link structures, it's important to maintain compliance.

Our basic service - Automated ADA Scans, recognizes that ADA compliance is not a one-off task but an ongoing effort. We offer weekly, monthly, or quarterly Automated ADA scans as part of an ongoing engagement. The process includes an automated scan of the website to assess HTML pages, analysis of scan results, prioritizing remediations based on impact, and re-scanning to ensure the remediations are working. Again, automated scans will not ensure ADA compliance, but will allow you to address readily identifiable gaps and work toward compliance.

For a more comprehensive approach, our premium service - Manual Review ADA Audit - is recommended on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. As automated ADA compliance scans generally flag only 25% to 30% of the WCAG 2.2 A & AA guidelines, this service manually tests the remaining guidelines using various screen readers and other accessibility tools. The Manual Review Audit includes initial conformance documentation, proactive accessibility statement, automated and manual testing to WCAG 2.2AA, identification of issues, estimation of efforts to complete prioritized remediations, final round of automated & manual testing, QA review of remediated code implementation, meetings to review results, and final conformance documentation.

Alongside any effort you elect to undertake with Fruition with respect to ADA Compliance, we also recommend training your internal team members on ADA best practices for website management, designating an ADA officer responsible for managing ongoing efforts, and maintaining an ADA policy on your website.

Fruition understands the importance of ADA compliance and is committed to helping your organization meet and exceed the standards set by HB21-1110, ensuring a truly inclusive digital environment for all users.

If you need support in getting your site ADA compliant, Fruition is here to help. Contact us today to get started!

Source: https://oit.colorado.gov/accessibility-law

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents+