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10 Years of Digital Accessibility Standard

The State of Minnesota Celebrates and Reflects on the Anniversary of the Standard

8/20/2020 9:00:00 AM

10 Years - Minnesota Digital Accessibility Standard, image of laptop keyboard.

It’s time to celebrate! The State of Minnesota’s digital accessibility and usability standard is 10 years old. First, let’s raise a (virtual) glass to toast:

  • The collaboration between people with disabilities, state legislators, and state agencies that made the Standard possible. 
  • People with disabilities who were involved in creating the law that led to the standard, and then in writing and implementing the standard.
  • The 63 state employees who serve as Digital Accessibility Coordinators (or alternates) for their agencies. 
  • The agency leaders who are serving or have served on the accessibility governance committee. The Technology Accessibility Advisory Committee has always included leaders of Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) and other state agencies, as well as state employees with disabilities. This ensures broad-based adoption by agencies and their leaders.
  • All the state employees who think about digital accessibility when doing their jobs, such as buying technology, writing documents, creating websites, writing code, managing projects, designing content, or building training programs. 

What’s in a standard?

Imagine a situation in which whenever you sent an email, posted a PDF, or created a web page, you weren’t sure whether your user would be able to read the content. How confident would you be in your work? That’s why standards are important. Standards provide the technical framework that help you define what works and what doesn’t.

Ten years in Minnesota

On September 1, 2020, the State of Minnesota celebrates the adoption of a digital accessibility and usability standard, which clearly defines what it takes to create accessible technology and content. To support the standard, the Office of Accessibility works with state Digital Accessibility Coordinators to create training and resources to help state employees and the public understand how to make sure that information and resources are accessible. 

In the past ten years, 

Because of this standard, the State is in a better position to hire more diverse state employees, particularly people with disabilities (Executive Order 19-15-PDF); provide better, more efficient services to more Minnesotans; and provide guidance and resources to local and regional governments.

There’s still plenty of room for improvement. But thanks to the State digital accessibility and usability standard and an accompanying law that appropriated funds for the Office of Accessibility, state of Minnesota agencies and their employees have the training, support, and resources to ensure that their services and content are accessible.

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