Laws & Guidelines

Laws and Standards

The following are the three standards or guidelines to which University of Illinois web developers adhere.

Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA)

"The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) requires Illinois agencies and universities to ensure that their web sites, systems, and other information technologies are accessible to people with disabilities. The IITAA requires the State to establish and follow specific, functional accessibility standards and to address accessibility proactively." (IITAA web site)

For more information about IITAA, see the following websites:

Section 508

"In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. '794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others." (www.section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=Laws)

In short, Section 508 ensures that all university information is available to everyone, regardless if you have a disability or not, and can be accessed by those with disabilities in a way that is comparable to people without disabilities.

Section 508 was originally based on WCAG 1.0. The law is currenlty going through a proccess called "refresh" where policy makers are working to haromonize the law with WCAG 2.0.

For more information regarding Section 508, see the website:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

"The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) documents explain how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Web "content" generally refers to the information in a Web page or Web application, including text, images, forms, sounds, and such."

"Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 was published in May 1999. WCAG 2.0 was published on 11 December 2008. WCAG 2.0 applies broadly to more advanced technologies; is easier to use and understand; and is more precisely testable with automated testing and human evaluation.

W3C WAI recommends using WCAG 2.0, instead of WCAG 1.0."

(www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php)