Municipal Web Accessibility

Alt Tags have tested 408 Californian city websites for accessibility and usability, with disappointing results. 89 % of the websites did not pass WCAG Priority 1.

Kirk Biglione of Alt Tags has posted more details in The Sad State Of Accessibility On Municipal Websites, and the report details are available in The Invisible Web: A Survey Of Municipal Web Accessibility.

Even though I did not keep note while I recently browsed through all Swedish municipal websites, I’d say the results would be no better here. In fact, they would probably be quite a bit worse.

Most municipal websites, even those redesigned very recently, use table tag soup instead of HTML, and fail to consider even the most basic accessibility features, like providing alternative text for images. Ironically, the very same sites often provide ways for the visitor to choose larger fonts, different typefaces, and higher contrast. All, of course, implemented in an inaccessible way.

Municipalities really need to make an effort to make their websites more accessible. And for those that don’t know how to do that, there are accessibility and usability experts who can help.

Posted on May 23, 2004 in Accessibility


  1. I feel that you have a good point in that accesibilty is important, but municipal’s rarely have the funds or the time to consider a full accesibly website a nessesity. The funds and time go to other indeavors.

  2. May 29, 2004 by Roger (Author comment)

    Making a new website accessible will only add very little (if anything) to the cost if the designers and developers keep it in mind from the beginning. Retrofitting accessibility will cost more and take time. How much will vary a lot.

Comments are disabled for this post (read why), but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact me.