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Audit Review of City Website Reveals ADA Compliance Issues

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The City of Sacramento, Office of the City Clerk engaged Capitol Tech Solutions (CTS) to perform a detailed technical ADA audit of assets available on the City of Sacramento website.

This audit aimed to ensure that the digital assets used by the City of Sacramento are in line with ADA guidelines, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities. Given the increasing importance of digital accessibility, such audits are crucial to identify gaps, mitigate risks, and improve overall user experience. It’s vital for public entities to ensure ADA compliance to guarantee accessibility for all citizens, including those with disabilities.

The provided audit assets included:

  • Existing Granicus web platform
  • Web Meeting Agendas
  • Printable Meeting Agendas
  • eComments Sections
  • Recorded City Council and Commission Meetings
  • Transcripts from City Council and Commission Meetings (close captions only)
  • Mp3 recordings and transcripts from City Council and Commission Meetings
  • Meeting Draft Minutes

Contact Capitol Tech Solutions today to ensure your digital assets meet ADA compliance standards

Standards Employed:

The technical audit was measured against the current Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA Standards. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are the technical standards on web accessibility that aim to make websites and other digital assets accessible to people with a broad range of disabilities.

Audit Methodology:

CTS employed a tiered approach for the audit:

  1. Automated Assessment: Initial accessibility screening was performed using specialized ADA audit software tools.
  2. Manual Review: Upon completing the automated check, a thorough manual evaluation was undertaken by the CTS team, aligning each asset with the standards set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Key Findings:

  1. Non-Compliance: CTS concluded that the existing Granicus platform and the reviewed assets fall short of ADA compliance standards.
  2. Detailed Analysis: CTS shed light on the specific ADA compliance issues encountered in each asset and pinpoints the exact assets exhibiting these challenges.
  3. Required Modifications: The listed issues outline the significant number of changes that are needed to improve the current site / asset status to become ADA compliant.

Recommendations and Proposed Next Steps:

  1. Re-evaluation of the Granicus Platform: CTS suggested a joint review of the current Granicus platform with the City of Sacramento staff. The goal was to identify possible ADA improvements.
  2. Platform Replacement: If the Granicus platform cannot be sufficiently modified for ADA compliance, CTS recommends moving to a new, compliant platform.
  3. Video Captioning: For video assets, automatically generated captions do not meet ADA requirements unless confirmed accurate. CTS advises that each video should be reviewed, and captions be edited as necessary to meet ADA standards.

Project Conclusion:

This project was brought in on time and under budget by CTS for the City of Sacramento.

The audit’s results highlight the need for a comprehensive review and overhaul of the Granicus platform and associated assets. It’s imperative to address these concerns promptly to ensure the platform and assets are accessible to all, especially those with disabilities, and to avoid potential legal ramifications.

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