In the recent months, Crystal received an email forward from a client who has contracted her to update their Public Involvement Program. It is an email sent out from the Florida Department of Transportation to all TPO/MPOs regarding Title II website accessibility.
In short it states, Recently, FHWA learned of MPO and LAP concerns regarding accessible websites, often referred to as ‘508 compliance.’ In fact, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 pertains only to federal agencies. State and local public agencies may and often do adopt 508 as part of ADA compliance. However failing that, state and locals (including MPOs) must comply with 28 CFR 35.160 and 49 CFR 27.7, both of which require action to ensure that electronic communications are accessible to those with disabilities.
In the recent months, Community Remarks has been re-evaluated to ensure it is ADA compliant by today’s compliance standrds. Web tools assist with checking that Community Remarks is accessible by screen readers and is friendly to those who are color-blind. The 3 main tools we utilized to check accessibility are:
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool)
- aXe plugin for Firefox and Chrome, very user-friendly for web developers
- W3 compliance checker
These tools will be utilized periodically to double check the accessibility of all active Community Remarks licenses. In fact, we have evaluated our leading competition community engagement software with the above checkers and found some of them are non-compliant. MetroQuest could not be scanned at all because it prevents the accessibility tool from reading their sites completely.
More will be updated here soon.