Our digital products must be usable by all. Almost one million New Yorkers have some form of disability. The law and our mission both demand that we provide everyone with an equal experience.
The way we design and build can make it hard—and sometimes impossible—for people with disabilities to access services and information delivered by our digital products. Accessibility is the practice of designing so that all people, regardless of physical or cognitive ability, can use products successfully.
The City of New York advocates for an accessibility-first approach to design and development. This means accessibility is not something that should be tacked on just before you launch. It should be a key consideration from the very start.
The City’s Digital Accessibility Coordinator is based out of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MoPD). The Digital Accessibility Coordinator leads trainings and reviews sites for accessibility issues.
Email the Digital Accessibility Coordinator your questions and inquiries about accessibility training and testing.
DoITT’s Director of Content Operations provides Creating Accessible Content training to agencies/offices that have websites on NYC.gov, which were created using the TeamSite agency templates.
Email the DoITT’s Director of Content Operations to request Creating Accessible Content training.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires government entities to make their services and websites accessible. On March 14, 2016, Local Law 26 made accessibility requirements legally mandated for the City of New York. The City is adopting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also known as WCAG. These guidelines, put together by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), outline the development, design, and content standards products must satisfy in order to be fully accessible. In 2017, the City began adopting WCAG version 2.0 AA. In June of 2018, updated WCAG guidelines were published–WCAG version 2.1. The City is working toward adopting WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines.
The WCAG guidelines have three levels: A, AA, and AAA. A has the fewest requirements to satisfy, while AAA has the most. The City must meet the level AA standards, which means that it must also meet the level A standards. The Best Practices outlined in this section will help you do this.