Who is responsible for our website's disability compliance? 

You are. As much as website owners would like to hand off the legal liability of website compliance to their IT vendors, it is the responsibility of the website owner to ensure compliance. Even if a best-effort is made to make your website content "compliant", which is no longer an accurate statement/goal, there is no guarantee that you will not be sued by a person or group that has an axe to grind regarding availability of municipal services for people with disabilities. 

Is our website ADA compliant? How do we make it ADA compliant?

You are asking the wrong question. ADA compliance began in the 1990s and went away in the early 2000s, and was replaced with the WCAG 2.0 recommendation. Most of the issues described in the legacy ADA specification were simple pass/fail items that you can see here: https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm . With the introduction of the WCAG 2.0 recommendation (not a law), there are a MANY more levels of usability recommendations that are a CHOICE for the website owner, depending on how compliant they want each item to be. In fact, there are sometimes 4 levels of compliance for each of the hundreds of website attributes described in WCAG 2.0. If you do not have a plan in place for how to communicate your intended usability, and also a plan for how you will identify / remedy usability issues, then you may be at a greater liability risk.

Where can I read about the WCAG 2.0 Recommendation?

What is EvoGov's stance on guarantees of compliance?

This is covered in Section 5 of our Terms of Service Agreement (https://www.evogov.com/tos), which all customers agree to when using our software and services. 

How can we improve our levels of compliance and help protect against lawsuits?

We are not attorneys, so we cannot provide you legal advice. There is no technology solution that prevents lawsuits.
Below are some of the strategies that we see municipalities implementing, and that we assist you with at varying degrees.

  1. Read and have an overview understanding of the WCAG 2.0 specifications
    Since ADA has been replaced by WCAG, you MUST read the specifications to have an understanding of the levels of compliance to develop your accessibility strategy.  Please review the specifications at https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag and the compliance guide at https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/ . so that you understand the specification.
    You will quickly see how in-depth they are, and why there is not a simple pass-fail for accessibility compliance .
  2. Statement of Compliance
    Your attorney should assist you in creating a statement of compliance that you can post on your website.
  3. Add a reporting form to your website
    We recommend that you create a form on your website where the public can report accessibility issues that they find on your website.
  4. CMS User Training
    It is possible for your CMS users to defeat your accessibility goals, so adequate CMS training is needed for the easiest issues to fix.
  5. Purchase a Compliance Checking Service ($2000+ per year)
    There are a number of companies that provide online services and software tools to review your website real-time continually to identify compliance issues so that they can be resolved. This is beyond the scope of our CMS software, as it requires a web-based service running, along with training and reporting tools. Scans of your website can be done remotely and automatically. These solutions are installed into your website by adding a special JavaScript snippet of code into the code of your website that is embedded into all pages. These solutions check for spelling error, broken links, missing images and other issues as well. We are testing out a company named Monsido (www.monsido.com) that we like, because their scripts work directly in our CMS. They also offer a Google Chrome plugin. Their service includes reports of compliance issues found, as well as instructions on how to correct them. Training is included with their service, and we can also work to help meet your desired levels of compliance. 

What specifically, can EvoGov do to help us with website accessiblity?

  1. Help cover important WCAG topics in our CMS training meetings.
  2. Work with your compliance vendor to install, monitor, and use tools (what you should be using) to maintain a more compliant website.
  3. Work with your staff and your compliance vendor to remedy issues found in the website. 
  4. Assist with integration of paid 3rd party reporting service mechanisms in the website. 
  5. Assist with creating the compliance statement pages. 
  6. Create a reporting form mechanism to report issues. 

What vendors do you suggest for compliance monitoring / correction services?

  • Monsido.com
    • We are testing them now with success.
    • Their service starts at $2000 per year and that rate is competitive.
    • They include training and a Chrome plugin for monitoring your website.
    • They provide instructions on how to correct issues. 
    • Simple scripts are easy to install in our CMS. 
    • Issues found can be remedied with the help of our staff. 
    • Good reporting including links and spell check. 
  • Audio Eye
    • We do not recommend them.
    • We have a customer spend $16K to use this service and it just didn't deliver. 
  • SiteImprove.com
    • Expensive and starts at $5K per year.
    • Spell check and other reports included. 
    • Partnered with one of our competitors that charges many extra fees for "professional services" on top of design and hosting fees, which causes us hesitation. 

Built-In CMS Compliance Checker

We now have a basic WCAG compliance checker built into our CMS for on-page content. The compliance checker is free of charge.
When editing a page or other content, you can click the compliance checker icon:

Need Further Assistance?

Please contact us using our contact form here on the website and let us know how we can help.