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NYSED Web Accessibility Requirements for Websites

These requirements apply to all new or updated web content. This includes:

  • Program area sites undergoing redesign into Drupal
  • Sites that have not started the redesign process or already have a Drupal website in production
  • Web applications
  1. Web Accessibility Requirements
    1. All web content MUST be reviewed for NYSED accessibility standards content prior to going live.
    2. Webpage design requirements
      1. Design of all new Drupal site needs to consider when it is appropriate to post content in a PDF file or on a page (HTML).
      2. Appropriateness of PDF content
        1. PDF and/or Word files is an acceptable format for:
          1. Fill-in Forms
          2. Large Manuals
          3. Large Reports which Contain Data/Calculations
          4. Brochures
          5. Large Publications
          6. Documents for Printing
        2. PDF and/or Word files, without an associated web page with equivalent content posted on a page/HTML, is not an acceptable format for:
          1. Memos
          2. Letters
          3. Instructions
          4. Policies/Procedures
          5. Informational pages (typically less than 5 pages)
        3. The PDF and/or Word files are to be web accessible
      3. Appropriateness of Pages/HTML Content
        1. HTML is to be used to display information, presented as text.
        2. The text can contain images
        3. HTML is to be used in cases where PDF is not an acceptable format.
        4. When you create content using a Basic Page or with any specific content type, created for your area, these pages are considered HTML pages.
        5. Page/HTML content is to be web accessible
    3. Technical requirements
      1. Page/HTML content – WAVE testing
        1. Minimum criteria: zero WAVE tool accessibility errors for the site identified via Chrome WAVE tool
          1. Information about the WAVE tool
          2. Follow-up with fixes using the WAVE tool
          3. WAVE Tool Help
        2. Preferred: zero contrast errors
      2. Microsoft Office documents
        1. Minimum criteria: zero accessibility errors checking MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint 
          1. To check your MS Office files, use the MS Office Accessibility Checker
          2. The NYSED WEBACCESS site contains instructions for creating accessible MS Office files. These instructions can be used to correct errors found by the MS Office Accessibility Checker.
        2. If the information is solely presented as a MS Office file, this information is not considered web accessible. You will also have to provide the information in accessible HTML or in accessible PDF.
      3. PDFs
        1. Minimum criteria:
          1. PDF document is tagged
          2. Title, author and language metadata properties are set
          3. OCR ran to recognize image-based or scanned text and provide a text alternate
        2. Preferred criteria: zero accessibility errors when checking PDFs
          1. To check your PDF files, use the Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro Accessibility Checker.
          2. The NYSED WEBACCESS site contains instructions for creating accessible PDF files. These instructions can be used to correct errors found by the Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker.
      4. Videos / Audio
        1. Minimum criteria: all videos / audio contain Closed Captioning
        2. Preferred criteria: videos / audio contain both Closed Captioning and transcript
      5. Keyboard Accessibility
        1. Minimum criteria: a user can navigate to and from all navigable page elements using only a keyboard
    4. Standards
      1. Page/HTML content
        1. WCAG 2.0 Level AA
      2. PDFs
        1. PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0
  2. Accessibility Exception

Consideration may be made for an accessibility accommodation where the application of web accessibility standards are neither feasible nor helpful. Please refer to the NYSED Standard for Accessibility Exception request process.


Please Note: If, after reviewing these tools, you still have questions about the web accessibility procedures, you may contact your Web Content Manager or the SED Help Desk. You may also submit your question to the NYSED Web Accessibility Support Forum