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Making your site available to the widest possible audience

USDA is committed to providing access to web pages and content for the largest possible group of individuals, including people with disabilities. The best way to make your content accessible is to create it with accessibility in mind. Designing accessible experiences means taking into account the needs of people not only with blindness or low-vision, but for people with other sensory, cognitive, or physical disabilities.

  • Create products that are accessible to the public, including people with disabilities
  • Make content on public-facing USDA websites and documents compliant with Web Content
  • Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and Level AA Success Criteria
  • Know how and when to ask for help with accessibility evaluations from USDA Section 508 Coordinators
  • The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) lists requirements (including some outlined here separately) that new and redesigned websites must: 

    Sec. 3(a)

    1. Comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements

    2. Have consistent appearance

    3. Not overlap with or duplicate legacy websites

    4. Have a site search feature

    5. Use industry-standard secure connection (https)

    6. Be designed around user needs based on qualitative and quantitative data 

    7. Have an option for a more customized digital experience

    8. Be fully functional on common mobile devices

    Section 3(b)(2)(A) 

    • Report to Congress their agency’s most-viewed or most-utilized websites and services


    Sec. 3(e)

    • Comply with U.S. Website Standards (the U.S. Web Design System)

  • Agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information comparable to the access available to others. In 2017, the Access Board updated the 508 Standards and Guidelines with several major changes to provide clarity and keep up with advances in technology and standards. Significantly, the revised standards incorporate the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, which require websites to meet Level A and Level AA success criteria.

  • The Connected Government Act requires that all new and redesigned agency websites be mobile-friendly.

Previous: Content Plays   Next: Accessibility Plays

This page was last updated July 31, 2019.

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The USDA Digital Strategy is being produced iteratively and relies on feedback from you to tell us what content you need to see, as well as what is and isn’t working. To send feedback, email us at