HB21-1110 is very clear about the following:
- Who: local governments throughout the Centennial State
- What: must make websites and content on those sites accessible to people with disabilities
- When: By July 1, 2024
- Why: because the State of Colorado takes non-discrimination seriously
Making web content such as portals and public websites accessible and compliant with WCAG is pretty straightforward: you audit those portals or sites for issues, create a bug list, submit it back to the dev team and they iron out the “bugs” until the site passes automated checkers AND a manual review – a manageable project and sustainable if you get your team up-skilled to embed accessibility into your process. But when it comes to document content, the “How” is a lot more murky. You have lots of document authors, documents that were never intended to be “accessible” such as scanned images and islands of document repositories that nobody even knew existed before the law was enacted. So, how do you tackle this multi-headed beast in time to meet the deadline that is now less than 9 months away?
The answer is: Divide the problem into bite-sized chunks. We at Crawford Technologies break the problem down into three buckets: Find, Test and Fix. Here’s what you need:
- A good, repeatable way of finding documents throughout your digital properties. This should be a constant-monitoring approach that reveals even newly added documents and provides reporting by department and for the City or County as a whole.
- Excellent automated testing capability built within your Find tool. The tester should give you at-a-glance pass/fail information on all the documents but also provide detailed testing results that can be used immediately by your document authors or “fixers” when remediating the documents, right down to “fix the alternate text on the top of page 2” kind of instructions.
- A way to fix or remediate the documents with the simplest tools or services possible, something that can be picked up in a matter of minutes or hours, and that results in accessible documents in minutes.
There’s a bit more to it, of course! In our next post, we’ll discuss how to prioritize content, how to hone-in on documents that are being retrieved more frequently, and how “disposition” or “deletion” can be as much of a friend as “remediation.” Until then: Happy WCAG 2.2 Day – it went live October 5th!