Using Chrome Lighthouse to test your site for accessibility

Posted on September 6, 2019

Creating websites that are accessible to visitors with disabilities can be challenging, especially for developers building one-off / standalone sites. Most websites that were built even a year ago are likely not accessible, and many of the content management systems out there aren't accessible out-of-the-box, so to speak. If your website partner wasn't specifically told to build your website in an accessible way, it's likely that your site may have a few issues. Accessible websites aren't easy to build!

If you're wondering if your site is accessible, you can get an idea by using an automated scanner. Automated testing won't surface every possible issue - to catch everything you really need to have testing done by professionals using assistive devices - but it will check the basics (and the most obvious), giving you an overall idea of how you're doing.

So how do you test your site yourself?

Read More

Website Bootcamp: a better special district website with very little sweat

Posted on June 3, 2019

When we speak to special districts about their websites, we often hear familiar complaints:

• We're too busy doing our real jobs! (Providing water, sewer, fire protection, etc.)
• It's too hard! (Technology is confusing.)
• It's too expensive! (Most vendors charge a big up front fee to build it.)
• Nobody cares! (Our community doesn't give a damn what we're up to.)

The truth is, special districts - possibly more than any other type of organization - need to tell their stories, and there is no better, or less expensive, way to do so than on the web.

Read More

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.


Read More