Blue Atlas Marketing, a leading website accessibility firm, has observed alarming inadequacies in the accessibility of government agency websites across the country. These struggles expose an urgent need for accessibility improvements in the public sector.
“We were extremely disheartened to see so many fundamental obstacles preventing disabled individuals from accessing essential services,” said Alana Maresh, Head of Programming at Blue Atlas. “This signals a dangerous lack of awareness around digital accessibility among government organizations.”
As primary hubs for citizen services and information, government sites serve as digital public spaces that should be open and welcoming to all people regardless of ability. These range from social services, health resources, employment opportunities, and even election information. But Blue Atlas found accessibility issues to be widespread.
In some cases, simple tasks like locating a phone number or downloading a form are needlessly difficult – or outright impossible. Missing image descriptions can create barriers for blind users, and insufficient color contrast impedes those with low vision conditions.
“We believe universally accessible design should be the norm, not the exception,” said Maresh. “But many government organizations don’t grasp online accessibility.”
Digital accessibility means optimizing websites to be functional for all people, including those with disabilities. With proper implementation, accessibility features are seamless and enhance usability for everyone.
For visually impaired users, text alternatives provide descriptions for images. Keyboard navigation allows those with limited mobility to use sites without a mouse. Proper color contrast makes text legible for those with low vision. With accessible development, disabled users can browse, understand, and use websites with ease. Unfortunately, few government websites employ these basic accessible design principles.
The widespread gaps indicate a lack of awareness around digital accessibility – despite legal requirements. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) explicitly mandates accessibility for public accommodations, including government websites. The ADA was expanded in 2010 to cover access to online spaces.
Under Titles II and III, government bodies must ensure reasonable accessibility accommodations for disabled citizens seeking services and information online. They are legally required to meet certain web accessibility standards.
To pinpoint problem areas, Blue Atlas utilizes advanced auditing tools and AI technologies. By following their “POUR” methodology of making sites Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust, they identify and resolve accessibility deficiencies.
Correcting issues not only improves usability for disabled users. It also enhances site performance through increased mobility optimization. And it reduces legal risks associated with non-compliance. Most importantly, increasing accessibility removes barriers – making online civic engagement possible for more citizens.
While Blue Atlas paints a bleak picture, experts believe the path forward is clear. With proper training and implementation of accessibility best practices, government organizations can transform their digital landscape into one that welcomes disabled users.
“We know there is immense willingness among public sector leaders to rectify these issues,” said Maresh. “Our findings should serve as a wake-up call while also providing a roadmap to a more accessible future.”
Progress won’t happen overnight, but government agencies have a duty to prioritize online accessibility as they would any other civic obligation. Doing so requires allocating a budget for auditing, remediation, assistive technologies, and staff training.
It also means appointing dedicated accessibility officers and adopting inclusive design principles for all new content. With the right approach, achieving ADA compliance across government digital spaces is eminently within reach.
Don’t tackle this monumental issue alone. Partner with Blue Atlas Marketing to make your website legally compliant and accessible for all.
About Blue Atlas Marketing:
Blue Atlas Marketing works with organizations nationwide to optimize digital accessibility and achieve full ADA compliance. Their team of experts takes an educational, compassionate approach while pushing the boundaries of inclusive online design. Contact Blue Atlas today to discuss how they can help you achieve website accessibility.
Company Name: Blue Atlas Marketing
Contact Person: Nathaniel Stockard
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Address:11601 Shadow Creek Parkway Ste 111-372
Country: United States