Common Accessibility Questions

Frequently asked questions

Esri is committed to building accessible products. Accessibility is not a fixed requirement, and this is an ongoing effort. With each release of ArcGIS, we improve in the area of accessibility. We recognize the need for accessibility across all ArcGIS products from mobile to desktop to server to online applications. Esri publishes information regarding product accessibility on disclosure forms called Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACRs). ACRs are designed to assist customers in evaluating compliance with Section 508/WCAG criteria when selecting the product to best meet their needs.

Section 508 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 applies to federal departments and agencies. It does not regulate the private sector and does not apply to recipients of federal funds.

Information and Communication Technology, or ICT, is a broad term used to refer to information technology that creates, manipulates, stores, displays, receives, or transmits electronic data and information. Examples of ICT include computers, software, applications, websites, videos, and electronic documents.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG is currently viewed as the international standard for web content accessibility conformance levels. WCAG success criteria are organized into three levels of conformance: A (minimum), AA (includes A, current US standard), and AAA.

WCAG conformance is now included within Section 508 regulations. In 2017, the US Access Board published a rule on requirements for information and communication technology covered under Section 508. These requirements include incorporating the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and applying Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements to websites, as well as to nonweb electronic documents and software.

All success criteria from WCAG 2.0 are included in WCAG 2.1. WCAG 2.1 provides 17 additional success criteria to address mobile accessibility and vision, cognitive, and learning impairments. WCAG 2.1 success criteria are being utilized in some international jurisdictions, and Esri is working to proactively incorporate these standards into the ArcGIS product development lifecycle.

EN 301 549 is a set of European standards for digital accessibility and ICT procurement in Europe.

Contact Esri Accessibility

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