Website accessibility standards for local government

Posted on August 31, 2018

There are a few formatting requirements that apply to local government agencies in California: Section 508 (for visitors with disabilities); AB 169 guidelines for anything considered “open data;” and AB 2257, which governs formatting and posting requirements for any agency’s main governing body’s agenda. In this article we’ll touch on the first two; to learn more about AB 2257 and home page agenda posting, check out this related article.

 

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California website requirements -- an overview

Posted on August 31, 2018

Special district websites must comply with federal and state mandates, but how do you keep up with changing requirements? The state doesn’t send you a letter after they’ve passed a new mandate, let alone give you a heads up beforehand. (And, how would you know Section 508 guidelines changed January 2018?)

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The Brown Act and new California agenda posting requirements

Posted on August 31, 2018

The Ralph M. Brown Act is an act of the California State Legislature passed in 1953 that guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. It’s been updated multiple times since its original drafting, and now includes a website posting requirement for agendas. While it has always been required to physically post agendas a minimum of 72 hours before upcoming regular meetings, it now requires that those agendas also be posted on the agency’s website, if they have one.

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What are the most common types of special districts?

Posted on April 25, 2017

This infographic from the 2012 Census on Local Government shows the breakdown of districts across the United States by type:

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A powerful defense of special districts at Little Hoover Commission hearing

Posted on August 31, 2016

And we’re not done yet!

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Being a special district isn't always so special

Posted on March 22, 2016

If you're one of the few people who haven't seen the John Oliver video poking fun at special districts, watch it (click on the video below this paragraph), and then finish reading this. But be warned: if you're involved in special district work, it can be hard to watch.

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The 5 things your website should do for you (a manifesto)

Posted on February 1, 2016

A lifetime of involvement in special districts and a love for small local government has given me an understanding of just how challenging it can be for agencies to communicate online. However, instead of focusing on how hard it is, I’d like to look at five non-negotiable things your site should do for you. Just because it's been hard in the past doesn't mean it has to be hard now. We're here to make sure of that. 

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FAQs on SB 272 Compliance

Posted on January 30, 2016

From the CSDA Webinar on May 25, 2016 and the Streamline webinar June 29, 2016 – by Sloane Dell'Orto

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California Senate Bill 272 updates California Public Records Act with new mandate

Posted on January 30, 2016

SB-272, SECTION 6270.5 OF THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT: LOCAL AGENCIES: INVENTORY.

SB 272 requires local agencies (excluding school districts) to create catalogs of all enterprise systems that store information about the public, and to post this catalog on their websites, if they have websites. If they do not have a website, they are required to publish the catalog in a way that can be provided to anyone who asks. This law applies to all California special districts, cities and counties, and compliance is required by July 1, 2016.

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