The scales of justice

California Passes New Digital Accessibility Law for State Agencies

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Written by: Rishi Agrawal

Seal of State of CAAs reported by Seyfarth Shaw’s ADA Title III blog, California has passed legislation requiring websites of state agencies and entities to be digitally accessible. The law, A.B. 434, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, and requires compliance by July 1, 2019. The bill specifically mentions that websites must meet the standards of WCAG 2.0 (or subsequent revisions) at a minimum of the AA success criteria.

On July 1, 2019 and every two years thereafter, the state agency or entity must post a certification from its Director and Chief Information Officer to confirm the website’s compliance with the WCAG requirements.

State agencies and entities are defined under California Government Code § 11546.1(e). A state agency is defined as the following agencies:

  • Transportation Agency
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency
  • Natural Resources Agency
  • California Health and Human Services Agency
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • Department of Food and Agriculture

A state entity is defined as “an entity within the executive branch that is under the direct authority of the Governor.”

As noted in Seyfarth Shaw’s blog, California’s state and local entities are already subject to the federal procurement requirements in Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act. In addition, judges often rule, in lawsuits brought in California, that websites that violate ADA Title III also violate California law, namely the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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