Website Accessibility Statement and Guidelines

This accessibility statement and guidelines apply to www.stlouis-mo.gov and derivative domains

People don’t  have a choice when using government sector websites, so it is important that they work for everyone. The people who need online government services the most are often the people who find them hardest to use.

The City of St. Louis strives to make content on www.stlouis-mo.gov available to citizens in an accessible and equitable manner. 

Our goal is to produce services, content, and design that are clear and simple enough so that most people can use it. On www.stlouis-mo.gov, users should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without sacrificing usability

  • navigate the website using just a keyboard

  • navigate the website using speech recognition software

  • navigate the website on mobile devices

  • navigate the website using a screen reader

Guidelines

The City of St. Louis strives to follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, level AA conformance (WCAG 2.0 AA). In general, this means that websites and web applications must meet the following goals for all users: 

  1. Perceivable - Information must be provided in a manner that is perceivable by all users.

  2. Operable - Navigation and controls must be usable by a variety of users and input devices. 

  3. Understandable - Information and operation must be understandable for all users.

  4. Robust - Websites and web applications must be robust enough to be interpreted by a variety of current and future user agents, including assistive technologies. 

In addition to WCAG guidelines, the City of St. Louis strives to integrate in its web development practices the 7 principles of accessible design. Developed for the physical environment in 1997, the principles apply to digital content and services.

Examples of non-accessible content

There are several types of content on www.stlouis-mo.gov that are not accessible. PDFs are by far the biggest accessibility challenge.

  • Some of our documents are scans saved to PDF. These are images, and therefore not accessible to a screen reader.

  • Some of our PDFs are not tagged properly or the source document did not use structured formatting (i.e.Title, nested headings, missing table headings, etc.)

  • Documents often include images and diagrams. These images do not have a text alternative, so the information in them is not available to people using a screen reader. 

These fail to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and Section 508 (amended) of the ADA act.

Making content accessible

We want as many people as possible to be able to use the city website and take advantage of its services. We can do that by:

  • Choosing HTML (webpage) over PDFs where possible

  • Denoting headings and other parts of the documents properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure.

  • Making sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they are there for.

  • Avoiding using tables, except when we are presenting data.

  • Making links to other pages, documents and websites clear and descriptive (using words that make it clear where the link goes instead of "click here").

  • Provide a text version of the data that charts, graphs, and maps represent. 

  • Writing in plain English for a 6th grade reading level, making the copy concise, scannable, and objective.

  • Prioritizing content structure over design elements that don’t contribute to the information presented

  • Making sure content is readable on all relevant devices and screen sizes.

  • Making sure a basic translation is available on all pages.

  • Making available custom translations of certain services in the most frequently spoken languages in our region.

Disproportionate burden

Some of our PDFs are not accessible but would be a disproportionate burden to update, particularly those which are extremely long and include graphs, charts, tables, etc and are used by a low number of people.

On the pages that link to those PDFs, we provide instructions and links on how to request accessible versions in order to meet the obligation of providing reasonable accommodations to users.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

Please note this accessibiity statement and guidelines can change from time to time. We expect most such changes to be minor, but we will post those changes as they occur.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact the web team.

This statement was last updated on 12/23/2021

 

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