Accessibility Information

Learn how the Office of Equity is committed to accessibility.

Person uses sign language in a meeting.
Two parents laugh with their child in a park.

Digital Accessibility Statement 

We at the Office of Equity are working to ensure our content, events, and website are accessible to people with disabilities. Learn how we prioritize accessibility, accessibility tips, and let us know what changes could make our website more accessible. We strive to do so with transparency and share the info below about the steps we have taken with the hopes that others can do the same, and can offer us advice about developing even more accessible protocols. 

What are the Accessibility policies? 

We aim to meet or exceed the requirements of both Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended in 1998, as well as Washington State’s Accessibility Policy 188.  

Policy 188 establishes that Washington state agencies will follow guidelines for accessibility. These guidelines are called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and called WCAG (pronounced “wick-Ahg”) for short. Specifically, Washington state agencies are currently required to meet WCAG 2.1 AA. The “2.1” refers to the version of WCAG and “AA” refers to the level of criteria. We will incorporate components from new versions, such as WCAG 2.2, as they are developed and consider our capacity as well as the voices of people with disabilities. 

Alternate Format 

Do you need a large print version of a document, Braille version, or a document in a language other than English? Do you need a plain language version of a document? 

 Please submit your request to access@equity.wa.gov.  

What to expect from our content? 

  • Images 

  • Images on our website have an “alternative text” that describes the image. This can support people with low vision, people who are Blind, who use an assistive technology called a “screen reader.” These descriptions can help people who have slow internet who want to view the text description and don’t wish to load the image. Images with empty alt text are considered decorative and do not add meaning. 
  • Videos 

  • All of our videos since May 2023 are transcribed and captioned manually by a human being (not auto-generated). In addition, by December 2024, all new videos will have a transcript available on the webpage to support accessibility for people who prefer written formats or with low internet connections who prefer not to load videos. These captions can help support d/Deaf, Hard of Hearing people. These captions can also help English Language Learners.
  • Forms 

  • We have Smartsheet forms and PDF forms. We also provide Smartsheet forms for convenience and for people who do not edit PDFs. We test all new forms for compatibility with assistive technology. If you encounter a barrier or have a suggestion, email us. 
  • Headings 

  • We make headings on pages so that people can skim what a page talks about, and this helps people using screen readers and/or braille quickly get a sense for what’s on a page. 
  • Links 

  • Our links describe where the link is going so that people using a screen reader know where the link will take them. If the document is likely to be seen in a printed format, we will consider keeping the entire link. 

Past Documents and Technology 

Our past content may not yet meet our newly established accessibility standards going forward. For that reason, please let us know if you need a document or piece of content, and notice you may need a different format, so we can prioritize this. We want to consider what is most needed.

Balancing Priorities and Limitations

***We are sometimes unfortunately limited in what accessibility features we can offer due to the software we have access to or limitations of the software itself, which is controlled by vendors. We are documenting what features we need, advocating with the vendor, but cannot guarantee changes. 

Regardless, we seek creative ways to meet our audience's needs. We seek to determine what additional capacity or resources we may need to meet the multi-dimensional needs to do groundbreaking work. 

We also want to support our staff with educational resources and time to learn about digital accessibility so we can proceed thoughtfully, as we are aware that digital accessibility info is not commonly included in curriculum. It is a quickly evolving field and many state employees and members of the public may be new to the topic or have not had resources or time to understand the topic previously.

Is there an FAQ?

Yes, please see our Accessibility FAQ which is also available (in the footer) at the end of each page.

External Links

Please note that our website contains links to external sites. We do not control the content or accessibility of external sites created by third parties.

Acknowledgments

We thank the work of so many who have contributed to digital accessibility and modeled the way. We were particularly inspired by the Alphabet Alliance of Color's website accessibility statement! We also appreciate our readers and community members for their continued feedback to build an accessible website and experience for Washingtonians.