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Accessibility Web Standards

Describes CDE’s requirements for all of its web content. This document is part of the CDE Web Standards.

This section of the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Standards provides the accessibility requirements for all web content that is developed, procured, maintained, or used under its responsibility.

This section is one part of the CDE Web Standards. For any given web content, one or more parts of the CDE Web Standards may be applicable. Visit the CDE Web Standards Home page for more information.


California Government Code (GC) Section 11546.7 (Assembly Bill 434) External link opens in new window or tab. requires the director and chief information officer of each state agency or state entity to certify that the agency/entity's website is compliant with California GC sections 7405 External link opens in new window or tab. and 11135 External link opens in new window or tab..


Federal and state laws and guidelines require the CDE to ensure that it’s web content is accessible. For example:

CDE staff work to ensure that the CDE's web content is maximally accessible to everyone, including persons with disabilities. Excluding exceptions indicated in state and federal law, web pages that CDE develops, maintains, procures, or uses must be compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 External link opens in new window or tab. as indicated below.


  • Without regard to where or how it is made available1, the type of web content2, or the person or entity creating it3, all publicly available CDE web content must comply with WCAG 2.1 at the AA Level.

    • In addition, all web content posted to CDE’s private, employee-only Intranet websites must comply with WCAG 2.1 at the AA Level.

    • In addition, all of CDE’s official communication presented via web content that is non-public (e.g., login-only or unlisted URL) and that falls under the following categories must be compliant with WCAG 2.1 at the AA Level4:

      • Emergency notifications
      • Initial or final decisions adjudicating administrative claims or proceedings
      • Internal or external program or policy announcements
      • Notices of benefits, program eligibility, employment opportunity, or personnel action
      • Formal acknowledgements of receipt
      • Survey questionnaires
      • Templates or forms
      • Educational or training materials


  • Content that was compliant with CDE’s prior Web Standards and has not been updated after January 18, 2018. This exception exists due to the safe harbor clause in federal Section 508, which allows content that was compliant with the older version of Section 508 to remain posted unless it is updated.

  • CDE will consider other exceptions if they are permissible under the laws and guidelines5 to which CDE must adhere. In most cases, the only exceptions that CDE can evaluate are "undue burden" exceptions that are allowed in some cases under federal Section 508. In order to consider an undue burden exception:

    • The exception must be requested in writing and submitted to (entity/entities yet to be determined). The request must comply with part E202.6 of federal Section 508.

    • When an undue burden exception has been approved, the manager of the Web Services Unit will ensure the following prior to posting the web content that has been approved for the undue burden exception:

      • That the documentation required under part E202.6 has been received and retained.
      • That sufficient alternate means have been provided
      • That the following ADA notice is placed on all non-conforming web content that has been granted an undue burden exception:

        If you need assistance accessing this <describe web content>, please contact

Additional Information

As a supplement to the WCAG 2.1 standards, the following are recommended by the CDE for background and additional information about web content accessibility:

Need Help?

The CDE strives to meet the needs of all individuals. If you are having difficulty accessing content provided on this website, please contact the CDE’s Web Services Office by email at


1 These standards apply to CDE web content however it is distributed, whether by CDE, its contractors, or by a partner and to any web content that is posted to any CDE website or any contractor website.

2 These standards apply to all web products. Web products include: web pages, websites, electronic documents (e.g., PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint), multimedia (including live and recorded video and audio), web applications, mobile applications, social media and any other web elements or services.

3 These standards apply to all CDE web content without regard to who created it, whether it was created by CDE staff, contractors, or any partner of affiliate working on behalf of CDE. Content is considered CDE content, if CDE provides direction for the creation of the content; CDE staff time to develop, approve, or maintain the content, or if non-pass-through state or federal funds distributed by CDE are used to create the content.

4 A list of included non-public content as provided in Section 508, Section E205.3

5 An exception that is permissible under one law may not be permissible or may have limitations under another.

Questions:   Web Services Office |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 3, 2024