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Accessibility

The Department is required by federal and state law to make information intended for the general public accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Policy

The California Department of Education (CDE) Web site is compliant with California Government Code 11135, which requires that electronic and information technology developed or purchased by the State of California is accessible to people with disabilities. Additionally, the CDE Web site meets the CDE’s Web Accessibility standards.

Background

Users with disabilities may not be able to see, hear, or process some types of information; may have difficulty reading or understanding text; or may not be able to use a keyboard or mouse. Various estimates put the percentage of Web site visitors who have some type of disability at 10 to 30 percent.

California Government Code 11135 (PDF; Outside Source), enacted in 2003, requires all State agencies to comply with Federal Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended in 1989). Section 508 (Outside Source) requires Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 includes legal requirements for computers, software, telecom, multimedia, and the Web.

CDE Web Site Features

The CDE Web site has features that are intended to make the experience of interacting with our Web site positive and productive for all users, including those with disabilities.

Below is a list of some of the accessibility features included in the CDE Internet Web site, and where appropriate, how to find them and use them.

Common Look and Feel; Simple Design

Most pages on the CDE Web site have a similar layout, making site navigation easier. Overall, the site is primarily text-based and has a simple, straightforward design.

"Skip To" Links

A special link is placed at the top of most pages on the site that allows assistive technology to skip or “jump over” the site navigation.

Accessible Images

Images that are included on the CDE Web site contain “alternative text,” which assistive technology can read to the user.

Adjustable Text Size

The CDE site is constructed using relative fonts, which allow site visitors to increase the text size on Web pages. Text size can be increased in two ways. The easiest way is to use the “text resizer,” which can be found in the upper right corner of most Web pages on the CDE site. The text size can also be increased with the Web browser’s text size adjustment feature. For more information about text size adjustments within a specific browser type and version, site visitors should consult their browser documentation.

Semantic Code

The CDE Web Standards require that correct HTML markup be employed to designate certain Web page elements, thereby differentiating them on the page for users of assistive technology. For example, all page headings and subheadings are designated with HTML heading tags, which are announced to screen reader users.

Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets are used throughout the site for layout, design, and style. This allows the CDE site to be displayed in a readable fashion on different browser-enabled devices.

Effective Search Engine

The CDE Web site search engine provides relevant and easy to use search results, allowing quick navigation to the desired content.

Effective Use of Tables

Tables used for the layout of Web page content are avoided on the CDE site. Additionally, data tables on the site employ HTML markup to differentiate table headings from data and to associate data with the appropriate table headings.

Video Captions and Text Transcripts

Some video files on the CDE Web site have embedded captions for the hearing impaired. Windows Media Player must be configured to turn ON captions since captions are turned OFF by default. Links to video files without embedded captions have adjacent text transcripts.

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Questions:   Web Services Office | tsdweb@cde.ca.gov
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