Enabling Barrier-Free Digital Government For Federal Agencies
Digital content that is accessible to people with visual, auditory, cognitive, and mobility impairments reduces barriers to government information and services—opening access to national resources—for everyone.
Barriers to Citizen Engagement
The repository of federal information on the internet is vast and readily available in web pages, images, audio recordings, video, online training, mobile apps, and other formats. This openness is a tremendous resource to citizens and visitors, students and teachers, policymakers and other stakeholders. But the beauty of our natural resources, the power inherent in our ocean shores, directions to the next trailhead, critical bureau updates, and interactive learning content can be inaccessible to many with disabilities.
The latest Census Bureau numbers show that one in four people in the United States has a disability. Much of today’s digital content can be difficult to navigate, understand, use, and enjoy:
- Image details are often hidden from the blind or visually impaired.
- Navigation can be difficult for those who can’t view menus or who struggle with fine motor movement.
- Multi-media impact may be diminished for those who can enjoy only portions of a presentation.
- Motion, timeouts, and other dynamics can startle or distract those with cognitive impairments.
- Purchases and transactions, information searches, job applications, and various other online activities prevent engagement instead of encouraging it.
Digital accessibility practices, however, allow federal agencies to provide equal access to individuals of all abilities.
Accessibility Removes Barriers
Accessibility standards such as those stated in Section 508, state laws, and in internationally accepted standards (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG] 2.0) allow you to:
- Enable individuals who are blind or have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing, or have mobility or cognitive challenges to access and interact with your websites, online training, documents (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, PDF files), audio and video, and software and mobile applications.
- Make your content work with assistive devices such as alternative keyboards, screen readers, trackballs and joysticks, and sip-and-puff systems.
- Allow these devices, web browsers, and operating systems to interpret and describe content and page structure. They also allow you to provide your users with the ability to control how they receive your content, by changing color schemes, screen contrast, delivery speed, or font sizes on the devices they use.
Microassist Federal Government Accessibility Services
Digital accessibility empowers people with disabilities to independently navigate, browse, use, and otherwise interact with your digital content.
Our instructional design, web, and application development teams are well versed in Section 508, 504, and 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and WCAG 2.0 success criterion governing electronic information accessibility. We’ll work with you to evaluate accessibility against the appropriate standard, ensure compliance across devices, and open your public-facing content to those previously prevented from enjoying it.
Using a rigorous set of manual and automated tests, we’ll provide a thorough report of any gaps hampering a fully accessible experience. We can audit existing websites, web and native applications, mobile devices, themes, training, documents, and more.
Accessible Elearning Development
Our accessible learning modules can include instruction, video, audio, simulation, social collaboration, webinars, virtual training, instructor-led training, and assessments. We also build accessible learning management systems (LMSs) and can work with both proprietary and open source development products.
Accessible Document Services
Websites, online courses, and applications often host countless supporting files, including Word documents, PDF files, presentations, and spreadsheets. We’ll work with you to remediate existing documents and establish best practices for in-house content creation for ongoing accessibility.
Existing content and environments for the web, desktop, mobile, tablets, or other devices can often be remediated rather than starting anew. Services apply to web pages and documents, Microsoft Office application files, PDFs, interactive or fillable forms, and other media files.
Microassist has been a government-contracted vendor for over 20 years. We can help you verify vendor Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) according to Section 508 standards so that you know the accessibility standing of any technology-related item you are purchasing, and any reasons for exceptions.
IT Accessibility Training
We provide accessibility training courses in various formats: online, in our classrooms, or on your campus. Topics include Microsoft documents, web development, accessibility testing and tools, principles of accessible user interface (UI) design, PDF accessibility, and more.
Other Federal Government Accessibility Services
Our services also include consultancy, working with development teams, and ongoing help desk support and ticketing. Whatever your stage of accessibility implementation, we’ll help ensure your content and environments empower people of all abilities to access your services with ease.
We provide government solutions through two GSA contracts, a Professional Services Schedule for web based marketing and training services, and a Schedule 70 contract for Information Technology Professional Services.
Microassist GSA Contracts
Microassist is a recognized leader in creating accessible products and custom learning for federal agencies. Since 1992, we’ve delivered quality, IT-focused government solutions. Contact us today to see how we can help make your content more accessible to people with disabilities.