Web Content Accessibility
It is the goal of the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) that this website satisfies all Priority 1, 2, and 3 guidelines, for "AAA" compliance of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. In addition, the DSH website satisfies Section 508, Subpart B, Subsection 1194.22, Guidelines A-P of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as revised in 1998. DSH is strongly committed to improved accessibility for all Californians.
DSH accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of the external websites or external documents linked to on this website.
Any accessibility issues should be reported to the Webmaster.
One of the pillars of accessible web design is using defaults and certain design elements that can be adjusted by the end user. This kind of design permits visitors to adjust font size, contrast, and customize other elements to meet their particular viewing needs. Information on some of our special access features, and how to work with custom settings are described below.
California Government Code (GC) Section 11546.7 (Assembly Bill 434) requires the Director and Chief Information Officer of each state agency or state entity to certify that the agency/entity's website is compliant with California GC sections 7405 and 11135 and the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) website strives to be a model of accessibility that meets the access needs of any site visitor. DSH has implemented the strict guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The website meets most of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1 - Priority 1, Priority 2, and most of Priority 3) and all of the DOJ Section 508 guidelines.
One of the pillars of accessible web design is using defaults and certain design elements that can be adjusted by the end user. This kind of design permits visitors to adjust font size, contrast, and customize other elements to meet their particular viewing needs. Information on some of our special access features, and how to work with custom settings are described on our accessibility page.
As directed by Executive Order D-17-00 issued on September 8, 2000, a comprehensive eGovernment initiative was launched that requires every agency and department to adhere to technical standards for accessible Web design and compatibility. The Accessibility Guide enables the State to utilize the best tools and design available to ensure that the content of the new California portal can be reached by the widest possible audience regardless of disability, limitations of computer equipment or use of alternate Internet access devices.
In addition, State accessibility guidelines enable agencies to meet State and Federal statutory requirements prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in the design of both Internet and Intranet web sites. For example, California Government Code Section 11135 et seq. prohibits discrimination by entities receiving funding from the State of California.
Likewise, Federal requirements mandating access for persons with disabilities were first imposed on State recipients of Federal funding by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Today there are numerous Federal statutes and regulations extending civil rights protections to persons with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as well as the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, where specific technical requirements for accessible web design have been published by the U.S. Access Board. This is important since Title II of the ADA recognizes the importance of communication and the necessity of the State of California to take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with persons with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
Between 17% and 19% of United States citizens have some level of disability. In fact, about l out of 5 Americans have some form of disability and 1 in 10 have a severe disability. These 1997 statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau also report that with the population aging and the likelihood that disabilities can increase with age, the growth in the number of people with disabilities is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. See Census Brief , December 1997.
To have effective communication with the widest audience possible, this Accessibility Guide provides assistance in how to use alternate forms of communication. Disabilities can fall into four basic categories:
- Blind/Low Vision. Assistive computer technology for this audience includes screen readers, refreshable Braille displays and screen magnifiers. To assist with accessibility for Blind/Low Vision population, features such as keyboard navigation, scalability of font size, fuzzy searches, alt tags and high contrast between the background and the text are helpful.
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing. To assist with accessibility for people with hearing loss, captioning synchronized with multimedia as well as volume control enable accessibility.
- Mobility. Assistive computer technology for this audience includes one-handed keyboards, head/mouth sticks and eye tracking. Keyboard navigation as well as voice recognition software may be used by this population to help navigate through a web site.
- Cognitive and Specific Learning Disabilities. To appeal to a highly diverse audience, with varying levels of ability, use the following design principles: Simple navigation, consistency in content presentation, clear labels, meaningful content, executive summaries at top of long documents and vocabulary understood by a wide audience.
This web site contains links to PDF documents that require the most current version of Adobe Reader to view. The Adobe Acrobat Reader may already be installed on your computer as a "plug-in" or "helper application" for your web browser. To find out, click on the "PDF" link for the document you are interested in. If the Adobe Acrobat Reader is properly installed on your computer, the Reader will either download or automatically open a PDF copy of the document, depending on your browser and how it is configured. If the Adobe Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, it can be found, free of charge, at the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page.
If you are using a screen reader, you may find it will not read some documents in PDF format. Adobe provides a web site that will convert non-accessible PDF files to a format that is useable with a screen reader. The Adobe Access site is located at access.adobe.com, and the tool can also be added to your computer as a "plug-in".
But the digital divide does not just affect people with disabilities. People without disabilities who have busy hands or eyes, poor lighting or noisy surroundings will find the California portal very user-friendly. People with slow modems, older browsers, or those using alternate internet access devices (e.g., cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, etc.) will also benefit from a highly accessible web site. This Accessibility Guide will continue to be updated as technology evolves and new tools and resources for accessibility are developed.
On this website there may be online forms that can be filled out and submitted. These forms work well with various screen readers such as JAWS.
Screen Readers only read text and are unable to read graphics. When the reader encounters a picture or graphic, the device will read the pictures ALT tag. ALT tags assists users without graphic display terminals, users whose browsers don't support forms, visually impaired users who use speech synthesizers, and those who have configured their graphical user agents not to display images. When the device encounters a graphic, the user will hear a short description of what it is, such as, "picture of person smiling", rather than the generic "graphic."
Select the "Tools" menu. Select "Options". Select the "Content" tab. Select "Colors". Select colors desired for "Text", "Background", "Unvisited Links", and "Visited Links" (example: white text and black background) and uncheck "Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selections above". Select the "OK" box, and then the "OK" box again. The colors should change on the browser.
The fonts used on this site are a default size, which allows you to make adjustments according to your preference. The following is the easiest way to change the font size for some common web browsers.
Click on the "View" menu. Highlight "Text Size". Default setting will be medium. By changing the settings between largest and smallest; the text displayed on the page will be modified.
Select the "Tools" menu. Select "Options". Select the "Content" tab. Change the "Default Font" and "Size" values (for more advanced options, select "Advanced" next to the "Size" value). Select the "OK" box, and the fonts should change on the browser.
DSH has limited the use of graphics on the site to ease navigation, limit clutter, increase load speed of the site, and eliminate confusion for screen readers and other assistive technology devices our visitors use.