Digital Accessibility Checklist for American Job Centers
Provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) charge AJCs with ensuring their information and communication technology (ICT) is accessible to individuals with disabilities. To help developers and IT staff track progress toward this goal, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) created the following quick-reference accessibility checklist, which is adapted with permission from Vision Internet.
Ready Your Team
Name or hire an accessibility coordinator for your AJC who understands regulations and laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, website accessibility issues, and standards and guidelines like Section 508 and WCAG 2.0.
Assess your existing technology and make a plan for your AJC
Use TechCheck to take a free accessibility snapshot of the current state of your technology. Then, develop and implement a strategic action plan for ICT accessibility that includes the following sections:
- Leadership and Team Approach
- Needs Assessment and Priorities
- Formal Policies and Procedures
- Agency-Wide Infrastructure
- Evaluation and Accountability
Accessibility awareness training
Conduct web accessibility awareness training for department heads and key personnel.
Accessibility content and procurement training
Train your AJC’s web personnel on how to write and develop accessible content. Educate IT decision makers on how to ensure they buy and implement technology that is accessible.
Make It Accessible
Use responsive design to ensure that your pages automatically resize for mobile and tablet devices.
Add “alternative text” to images. This will be used by screen readers to describe images to people with visual impairments.
Write text that is easy to understand, and use short simple sentences to aid readability.
Use headings to provide a way for users to navigate a page quickly and to understand its structure visually or through the page’s code.
Create links that stand out from surrounding text, and let users know if a link will go to another page or open a document.
Test text and background color combinations for users with color blindness. Note that WCAG 2.0 Level AA requires a 4:5:1 color ratio.
Provide captions and transcripts for audio/visual content for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Give Users Control Over Accessibility
All interactions and information that can be accessed with a mouse must be accessible with just a keyboard. The tab order of the page should also be logical.
Always let users know where they are and how to get somewhere else on your site. The focus should always be visible.
Give users control over media content and make sure that video and audio files do not auto-play.
Allow users to customize their page experience. Give users a way to increase text size, and note that many browsers have this capability built in already.
If time outs are used, allow users to extend their sessions if they wish.
Use alternatives to CAPTCHA. Spam protection may shut out some users, so you should use logic-based problems or simple human user confirmations.
Keep Your Website Accessible
Automated accessibility checker
Use an automated accessibility checker on your website to regularly check and identify major barriers to accessibility—and correct any issues as they arise.
Provide a website accessibility statement on your site to acknowledge your commitment to accessibility, outline key standards, and identify contact information for reporting issues or providing feedback.
Additional Accessibility Resources:
Check out the following resources designed to help AJCs understand their tech-related responsibilities under WIOA, along with the nuts and bolts of making their ICT accessible to customers.
This guide helps AJCs ensure that their websites, online systems and courses, and applications are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by WIOA. It serves as the foundational resource for the following supplemental materials.
This fact sheet offers AJCs an “at-a-glance” overview of the tech-related implications of WIOA, and where to find assistance in meeting accessible ICT responsibilities.
Designed for internal staff presentations within AJCs, this ready-to-share presentation deck is a perfect tool to train staff on WIOA and accessible technology best practices.