On December 20, 2018 US Congress signed into law the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act . This law requires all Federal Agency forms to be digital no later than December 2020 – and Civvis can help with our solution!
What is 21st Century IDEA?
It became public law #115-336 on December 20, 2018. The purpose of the law to to improve executive agency digital services including website modernization, digitization of government services and forms, electronic signatures, and customer experience and digital service delivery.
This is a great achievement and greatly improves the user experience working with the Federal government. In addition, this bill will greatly improve people with disabilities access to the needed forms and online services that do not comply with Section 508 standards.
For this blog post we will talking about the form accessibility and digitization of government services and forms.
Accessibility of Government forms
Making a PDF forms accessible within Adobe is almost impossible and very time-consuming. In addition, Section 508 standards have been revised to include WCAG 2.0 standards – and your PDFs need to meet these new standards. If you read the new Section 508, look at E205 Electronic Content discusses all electronic content that is public-facing shall conform to the accessibility requirements specified in E205.4 which includes the following statement:
E205.4.1 Word Substitution when Applying WCAG to Non-Web Documents. For non-Web documents, wherever the term “Web page” or “page” appears in WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements, the term “document” shall be substituted for the terms “Web page” and “page”. In addition, in Success Criterion in 1.4.2, the phrase “in a document” shall be substituted for the phrase “on a Web page”.
Every document including PDF forms needs to be WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA compliant.
Digitization of Government Services and Forms
This new bill outlines the process each Government agency’s needs to compile to and each executive agency shall ensure that any form that is related to serving the public is made available in digital format that meets the requirement described in section 3(a).
Section 3(a) requires forms be:
- Section 508 compliant
- Consistent appearance (User Experience)
- Designed around user needs
- Web-based forms that allow users to complete digital transactions in an efficient and accurate manner
- Fully functional and usable on common mobile devices
How to Comply
So on top of complying to the new Section 508 accessibility standards, agency’s will also need to comply to the new 21st Century IDEA law.
Our web application makes any PDF forms immediately available to users, and eliminates design barriers or limitations imposed by current document preparation processes. We make forms:
- Accessible – Section 508 / WCAG 2.0