EIR Accessibility Policy, Chapter 12 - Functional Performance Criteria for ICT

In This Chapter

12.1 Overview

1 TAC§206.1(2)—Accessible—A web page that can be used in a variety of ways and that does not depend on a single sense or ability.

The functional performance criteria in this chapter require that ICT be developed in a way that is compatible with existing assistive technologies and can be used by the broadest range of users.

12.2 Criteria to Assist Users Who Have Visual Impairment

1 TAC§213.15(1)—At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided.

Agencies must provide a method for assistive technologies (screen readers, screen magnifiers, voice recognition software, and the like) to access all content and functionality.

Assistive technologies require specific cues that provide semantic markup for document structure and navigation, such as:

  • text descriptions for images,
  • logical heading structure that can be perceived visually as well as by assistive technology,
  • labels for form fields and other controls,
  • identified column and/or row headers for data tables,
  • keyboard functionality, and
  • a method to inform screen reader users that content has been changed dynamically for pages that update automatically.

1 TAC§213.15(2)—At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require visual acuity greater than 20/70 shall be provided in audio and enlarged print output working together or independently, or support for assistive technology used by people who are visually impaired shall be provided.

People with low vision require specific features to enable them to perceive the content, such as:

  • sufficient contrast,
  • the ability to enlarge text,
  • form field labels located in close proximity to the related fields,
  • layout that supports screen magnification.

12.3 Criteria to Assist Users Who Have Hearing Impairment

1 TAC§213.15(3)—At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user hearing shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing shall be provided

Agencies must provide a textual description or format of audio content. This description or alternate format must include these features:

  • synchronized captions for the audio portion of multimedia files;
  • relevant sounds within multimedia—for example,
    • a fire alarm sound during a training video,
    • a telephone rings, or
    • an audience laughing at a politician’s joke;
  • transcripts of audio-only information; and
  • descriptions of audio content for audio that cannot be transcribed, for example,
    • an audio recording of a symphony, or
    • an audio cue for an operating system.

1 TAC§213.15(4)—Where audio information is important for the use of a product, at least one mode of operation and information retrieval shall be provided in an enhanced auditory fashion, or support for assistive hearing devices shall be provided.

Refer to Chapter 8, Telecommunication Products and Systems, for complete information.

12.4 Criteria to Assist Users Who Have Speech Impairment

1 TAC§213.15(5)—At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user speech shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people with disabilities shall be provided.

When any functionality may be accessed via voice control, that same functionality must be available through the use of a keyboard, keypad, or equivalent or a mouse or equivalent device.

12.5 Criteria to Assist Users Who Have Motor Skills Impairment

1 TAC§213.15(6)—At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions and that is operable with limited reach and strength shall be provided.

These features are essential for ICT to be accessible to people with motor skills impairment:

  • Users can explore documents and user interfaces, complete forms, and activate application controls using simple keyboard commands. Using mouse keys does not meet this requirement.
  • Only interactive elements receive keyboard focus.
  • A clear visual indication of keyboard focus is provided.

12.6 Additional Requirements for Dialog Boxes

Although not specifically mentioned in 1 TAC Chapter 213, dialog boxes can present significant barriers to accessibility. To reduce or remove those barriers, these features must be encoded into each dialog box:

  • Keyboard focus is set in the modal dialog when it opens.
  • Keyboard focus is retained in the dialog until it is closed.
  • The dialog can be closed with the Esc key.
  • Keyboard focus is returned to the element that was used to open the dialog or to the next focusable element on the page.