Charter School Compliance with HB21-1110 – Colorado’s Law for Persons with Disabilities

Effective July 1, 2024, it is required for all charter schools to adhere to the regulations outlined in HB21-1110. HB21-1110 makes it a state civil rights violation for a government agency (including charter schools) to exclude people with disabilities from receiving services or benefits because of lack of accessibility. Accessibility standards apply to technology, hardware, and software that is both public-facing and internal-facing.

The Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is following WCAG 2.2 AA as the minimum standard of accessibility.

For more detailed information and guidance, refer to the official FAQ provided by the Colorado Office of Information Technology: HB21-1110 FAQ. The Colorado League of Charter Schools also provides an overview of the bill.  

If you have any questions, reach out to the CSI Communications Team at communications_csi@csi.state.co.us

Getting Started

 

1. Add an Accessibility Statement Page

Add an accessibility statement page to your website’s footer

This will inform people of both your commitment to accessibility and how you will support people with disabilities when issues arise. Here’s an example of CSI’s Accessibility Webpage that you can use for reference.

It’s important to ensure that you have more than one contact method available on the page. We suggest an email address and a phone number.

2. Use Siteimprove to Review Your Website

The Siteimprove Accessibility Checker extension tool helps you stay on top of web accessibility by reviewing your content and providing tips on fixing errors. When using the filter, select the filters, A and AA to meet the minimum accessibility standard.

Common Website Accessibility Updates

  • Provide Alternative Text for Images: Include descriptive alternative text for images, enabling screen readers to convey information to visually impaired users.
  • Headers: Use headings in a logical, hierarchical order (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. and make sure they accurately describe the content that follows.
  • Descriptive Links: Use descriptive words that link to a URL rather than the entire URL or “click here”. Always spell out email addresses.
  • Color Contrast: The text color should have enough contrast with the background color to make it easy to read. Use online tools to check the contrast ratio. Keep adequate white space around text and between lines of text to make it easier to read and understand the information.
  • Layout: Use a clear, simple layout that is easy to follow. Avoid wrapping text around images or other elements when possible. Tables should be avoided when possible.

 

3. Check Your Website’s Files with Accessibility Checker

Begin by evaluating the files on your website.

  • The #1 accessible option is to have text on a webpage. This layout of information is the most accessible.
  • The #2 accessible option is to have the content in a file in its original format (docx, pptx, xlsx).
    • Run the accessibility checker in the Word document, Excel spreadsheet, and PowerPoint presentation to make your content easier for people with disabilities to read and edit.
  • The #3 option is to have the information as a PDF document. PDFs are not accessible by default, and remediating can be time-consuming & difficult. Do not use a PDF to present digital content that could be [first] a webpage, [or second a] Microsoft Word document or PowerPoint presentation. PDFs are intended for print, not screen. However, it is ok to post the document if converting it to a webpage is not possible or pragmatic. The way your content is posted should best serve the needs of your audience. See below for resources for making PDFs accessible.

 

4. Ensure Videos Have Captions

Including closed captions and transcriptions in multimedia content helps individuals with hearing impairments, language barriers or noisy environments access information more effectively.

  • Make sure that captions are synchronized to appear around the same time that they would be heard in the audio.
  • Captions do not need to be a word-for-word version of the audio, but should be a concise equivalent.
  • Use a modern video player that supports captions.
  • If you’ve captioned your video, provide a transcript as one of the optional output formats produced by the closed captioning process.
  • To make the transcript available, link to it from your webpage, wherever you link to or display the associated video.
  • Audio description is required when important information is visually shown on the screen that cannot be observed by a blind or vision-impaired individual.

Source: OIT How To: Accessible Website Content “Video and Multimedia”

    Other Resources

    Ensure your audience is aware of Aira, a free tool for people who are blind or low-vision

    Paid accessibility evaluation tools

    (not vetted or endorsed by CSI)

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