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ICT Accessibility Standards

Both the US Section 508 Standards and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) provide criteria towards making information and communication technology (ICT) more accessible. Districts and colleges are encouraged to use these accessibility standards in developing board policies and administrative procedures.

Section 508 Standards

The Section 508 Standards applies to electronic and information technology procured by the Federal government. California has adopted the accessibility requirements of the Section 508 Standards via California Government Code 7405.

The Section 508 standards have been “refreshed” to update and harmonize these standards with other internationally accepted criteria. As part of this “refresh” process, the revised Section 508 standards now reference the WCAG 2.0, Level A and Level AA criteria as the accessibility standard for Web content, Non-Web documents, and Software.

The full Information and Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines has been published by the Access Board in the Federal Register. 



WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 provides information on how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. The WCAG 2.0 documentation is organized around four principles for Web accessibility, called POUR:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

These four principles provide the framework for guidelines, success criteria, and sufficient and advisory techniques. These additional informational components work in concert to provide guidance and direction for ensuring Web content is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Three levels of conformance identify the extent by which Web content may be accessible - A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest). Due to the revised 508 Standards that now reference WCAG 2.0, Level A and Level AA, colleges may choose to specify the revised Section 508 Standards or WCAG 2.0, Level  AA as part of their college or district web standards.