Colorado's Accessibility Law HB21-1110

Understanding Colorado’s Accessibility Law HB21-1110: A Brief Overview

In a concerted effort to improve digital accessibility, the state of Colorado passed House Bill 21-1110 (HB21-1110) in 2021. This comprehensive legislation signifies a landmark shift in prioritizing digital inclusion, placing new requirements on local governments and businesses alike.

HB21-1110, also known as the “Digital Communications Accessibility Act”, requires that local government entities and businesses that provide products or services to the public ensure their digital communications are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, websites, web applications, and digital documents, such as PDFs.

Under this new legislation, entities are expected to comply with the internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at Level AA. This set of guidelines, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), provides a wide range of recommendations to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.

The requirements laid out in HB21-1110 extend to all digital communications, whether they are used for disseminating news, providing information about products or services, facilitating transactions, or any other purpose. This means that everything from online forms and digital receipts to interactive maps and event registrations must be accessible.

As for the timeline, Colorado’s Digital Communications Accessibility Act stipulates that local government entities and businesses must ensure their digital communications comply with WCAG 2.1 Level AA guidelines by July 1, 2024.

Non-compliance with this law could result in legal repercussions, including potential lawsuits. However, beyond legal considerations, adhering to this law reflects a commitment to inclusivity and equal access for all, a principle that is becoming increasingly important in our digital age. In conclusion, HB21-1110 represents Colorado’s firm commitment to digital accessibility. As the deadline approaches, local government entities and businesses must take proactive steps to ensure their digital communications are fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 Level AA guidelines, fostering an inclusive digital environment for all Colorado residents.

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