Digital accessibility statements: not all created equal


  • Accessibility statements
  • ADA
  • EAA


  • United States
  • Israel
  • Europe

Driving the news:

As organizations make their websites and other digital spaces more accessible, they also publish accessibility statements. In response to the demand for accessibility statements, an accessibility consulting firm compiled a list of accessibility statement pages across different entity and industry types. It comprises a mix of government and private entities, from airports and credit unions to museums and universities. 

What’s in an accessibility statement:

The WCAG requires the following items to be present in an accessibility statement:

  • A commitment to make content accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • Any framework (such as WCAG 2.1 Level AA) used to guide accessibility initiatives
  • Contact information of the person or office in charge of website accessibility 
  • Measures implemented by the entity to make the website accessible
  • References to relevant local regulations (the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508, the European Accessibility Act, and more)
  • Technical details or constraints that could affect the accessibility measures in place 

Accessibility statements and the law:

In the United States, Section 508 requires federal entities to post an accessibility statement on their website. In Israel, the Israeli Standard 5568 requires accessibility statements from both public and private entities. The European Union has also taken steps to mandate accessibility statements for the public sector, with Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1523 listing both required and optional accessibility statement content.

In countries where accessibility statements are not required by law, they are still considered an industry best practice, particularly among government agencies or private entities that do business with the government. 

Common pitfalls:

A user should be able to find a website’s accessibility statement easily. For instance, section 508 requires entities to add a link to the accessibility statement on the sitewide footer and to avoid adding the same link to another page, such as the About Us or Website Policies page.

While most of the links in the list are live, others no longer work. Other accessibility statements also contain little to no information about website accessibility, focusing on accessibility at the content level instead of across the website. This lack of information could impact the entities’ compliance status during audits. It also reflects poorly on the organizations’ accessibility programs. 

Looking forward:

With different countries gradually enacting more stringent accessibility rules and regulations, organizations will soon need to create accessibility statements that accurately reflect the steps they’ve taken to make their digital presence more inclusive to all users.

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