Guidance on Web Site Accessibility

Hawaii State Seal

LINDA LINGLE                                                                                                                                                        RUSS K. SAITO       GOVERNOR                                                                                                                                                           COMPTROLLER


Print Version


August 25, 2010



TO:               Heads of Departments

SUBJECT:    Policy Guidance on Web Site Accessibility

The State of Hawaii, through its Department of Accounting and General Services, Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD), has adopted the following policy relating to web site design and access to persons with disabilities.


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires, in part, that state and local government entities ensure that all programs, services, or activities be accessible to persons with disabilities.  Web sites are considered to be a program or service of government utilized to disseminate information to the public.  Therefore, the State must ensure that these web sites are accessible to persons with disabilities.

It is intended that all Departments of the Executive Branch meet the standards as set forth by ICSD in order to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility to persons with disabilities.  The Americans with Disabilities Act does not contain any specific standards for web site accessibility, therefore ICSD has established standards as set forth in the following technical guidelines.

Each agency’s home page should include contact information in order to allow the public an alternative means to ask questions or request additional information.  At a minimum, contact information should include a phone number, fax number and general e-mail address.  E-mails received by a state agency should be responded to within two (2) business days.


A previous document from March 2003 to Data Processing Coordinators established the following minimum Section 508 guidelines, which are intended to ease access to State web sites and make them accessible to persons with disabilities.


Heads of Departments and Agencies
Comptroller’s Memorandum No. 2010-28
August 25, 2010
Page 2

All web-based intranet and internet information and applications should be designed following standards set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d):

(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content).

(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way.  The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.


Heads of Departments and Agencies
Comptroller’s Memorandum No. 2010-28
August 25, 2010
Page 3


(l) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a) through (l).

(m) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

(n) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

(o) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

Questions about this policy should be directed to the Administrator of Information and Communication Services Division, Department of Accounting and General Services at (808) 586-1910 or by email at [email protected].


RUSS K. SAITO                                                                                       State Comptroller


cc: Debbra Jackson, Planner/ADA Coordinator DCAB
Cindy Omura, Planner/ADA Coordinator DCAB
Francine Wai, DOH/DCAB
Charlotte Townsend, DOH/DCAB
Access Hawaii Committee
State of Hawaii Portal Manager