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It's important to effectively plan prior to starting an accessibility assessment. The assessment planning documents will help determine tasks and work needed, how to approach and implement the work practically, what standards you will use, the number or resources required and how to communicate the results.

Determine the overall purpose before structuring the assessment. The purpose influences every other aspect of the assessment. For example, the purpose may be to address accessibility concerns with existing systems proactively or it could be in response to and prepare for an upcoming audit.

Follow these steps to effectively plan for the accessibility assessment:

  • Define Scope - Indicate what will be included and excluded in the assessment.
  • Choose Standard - Identify the accessibility standards to use for the assessment.
  • Identify Resources - Determine the resources needed for assessment.
    • Participants & Skill Sets - Define the project team, identify skill sets and roles.
    • Sample - Determine the sample size and how to obtain the sample.
  • Follow Best Practices
    • Determine Level of effort - Assess the level of effort for the assessment.
    • Define Error Logging - Define information needed to effectively document defects & deficiencies identified during assessment.
    • Communication Plan - Document communication strategy to effectively communicate the results of assessment.
    • Request for Additional Resources - Determine whether additional funds and/or resources are needed for the assessment effort.


Prioritization | Planning | Assessment | Remediation | Resources

Define Scope

Understand Standards and Law

Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - To require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. This law and applies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. This law was refreshed in 2017.

  • The standards for this law were refreshed 2017: Standard Refresh and Final Rule and require the rule references Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements of WCAG 2.0

California Government Code 7405 - The code content was previously included in Section 11135, requires all state agencies and departments to comply with Section 508, and it additionally requires any “entity that contracts with a state or local entity” to respond to any and resolve any complaint raised because of the implementation of products or services.

California State Administrative Manual Section 4833 - Information Technology Accessibility Policy also requires state agencies and departments to comply with Section 508.

Statewide Information Management Manual (SIMM) - Section 25 IT Accessibility Resource Guide - Was updated in July of 2016 through a joint effort with California Department of Technology, Government Operations Agency, Health and Human Services Agency, and the Department of Rehabilitation. Section 25 aligns with Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA conformance in addition to the requirements of Section 508. This resource provides information to state entities in meeting requirements for accessible web, information technology (IT) projects, and digital content creation.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 - Additionally, it is recommended that departments follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) with level AA conformance. WCAG 2.0 is the internationally recognized standards and guidelines for web accessibility. By following the guidelines listed in WCAG 2.0, departments will also meet all accessibility requirements listed in Section 508.

Identify Resources

Follow Best Practices