Commonwealth of Massachusetts Standards
Massachusetts information technology (IT), including applications, websites, and electronic documents - must be accessible for everyone to assure that workers and citizens with disabilities have full and equal access. Our standards will help you be in compliance with the various Massachusetts and US accessibility laws that pertain to this.
Version 2.0, January 20, 2005
The Enterprise Web Accessibility Standards (WAS) apply to external and internal agency websites and web-based applications.
These standards were based on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 1.
Reference #: Ent-Std-Tech-ITAS 1.3
Issue #: 3
Revision Date: March 6, 2014
The Enterprise IT Accessibility Standards (EITAS) apply to all information technology solutions deployed by Executive Department agencies. They incorporate the Enterprise Web Accessibility Standards by reference. They specify minimum accessibility standards that must be implemented and maintained for information technology solutions.
These standards were based on the federal government's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards under Section 508. We intend to update EITAS when the federal government updates their standards. This update will include merging WAS and EITAS.
March 2014 revision
The March 2014 revision added the following exemption to the Waivers and Exemptions section. This allows agencies to use the newer, technology agnostic WCAG2 standards instead of the the technical standards in WAS and EITAS:
Submit accessibility compliance assessment using the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Authoring Guidelines, version 2, level AA (the "WCAG2 Standards"), as defined at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php, instead of the ITD Enterprise Accessibility Standards, Section 2., Technical Standards – Applications and the ITD Web Accessibility Standards, Sections 1 through 5 and Section 8.
The IT Acquisition Accessibility Compliance Program was established to be sure accessibility was addressed in procurements for major IT projects. All Requests for Quotes or other solicitations for IT solutions issued by Executive Department agencies under the statewide contract for technical specialists, solution providers and business process re-engineering vendors or under a Request for Responses for IT solutions must include specific language that addresses IT accessibility. This contract language ensures that the accessibility standards are required to be met, that accessibility testing is included during development, that third-party audit accessibility testing is conducted, and that training and documentation deliverable are also accessible.
The Generic Assistive Technology and Information Technology Environment List is a list of the assistive technology and the IT environment that needs to be supported by a given application or system. The AT/IT List is a required element of the IT Acquisition Accessibility Compliance Program.
Mobile platforms, operating systems, and related assistive technologies were added in March 2013.
Some large projects require the formation of an Accessibility Advisory Committee, made up of accessibility stakeholders. Activities usually include reviewing accessibility test planning and results, participating in severity scoring by providing a practical perspective, evaluating mitigation, remediation, and accommodation alternatives.
Massachusetts agencies may not be subject to all federal laws and regulations dealing with IT accessibility, but we endeavor to keep the MA Enterprise standards "harmonized" with the federal government. Using the same standards make it easier for vendors and developers understand and comply with the requirements.
This page also includes regulatory actions that may also affect state and local government, such as regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template®, or VPAT®, is a tool used to document a product's conformance with the federal accessibility standards.