Many federal agency websites still are not in compliance with requirements that they be accessible to those with disabilities, a study has found, saying that the issue has grown more important as the pandemic accelerated to shift of service to the public from in-person to online.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation examined how well the most-visited federal sites comply with Section 508 requirements of the Rehabilitation Act. Those provisions, enacted in 1998, require agencies to employ features such as high-contrast colors, text alternatives to sound content, avoiding animations that may trigger seizures, and more.
It found “30 percent did not pass an automated accessibility test for their homepage, and nearly half (48 percent) failed the test on at least one of their three most popular pages.” Further, a third “did not have an easily discoverable page with contact information for users to report accessibility issues, and agencies are not required to collect or share data on the complaints they receive,” it said.
Of the agency homepages on that list, perfect scores went to cbp.gov, cdc.gov, dtic.mil, faa.gov, nist.gov, usembassy.gov, va.gov and whitehouse.gov. The lowest score went to irs.gov, with eia.gov and marines.mil second and third from the lowest.