Website Accessibility

The City of Boston is committed to making our website accessible to people with disabilities. CityofBoston.gov strongly adheres to W3C Guidelines for accessibility.  In order to make our website work "for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location or physical or mental ability," we have focused on the following areas:

Resizable Text

We provide a built in text size changing tool as well as instructions for changing browser text size.
More Info  

Opening Non-Web Files

Whenever possible, information on CityofBoston.gov is published in HTML to eliminate the need for additional software.

However, our website does include links to some non-web files which require additional software. Users who need to view these files, but do not have the proper application are instructed to download the appropriate viewer. The basic versions of these applications are offered, at no cost, on the vendor's websites.
More Info

PDFs
The Portable Document Format (PDF) file format is often used for the following business reasons:

  • Documents need to match a printed version (signed documents, for example).
  • Lengthy documents cannot be broken down easily into web pages because of readability and printing limitations (manuals or instructions, for example).
  • The integrity of the document format must be preserved for historical or regulatory reasons.

When documents are published in PDF, the following efforts are made to ensure that they are accessible to the widest possible audience:

  1. Producing the files using the latest version of file conversion software for PDFs, which is currently the most accessible technology available for these types of files.
  2. Indicating that a link is to a PDF file format with an icon next to each link.
  3. Providing an HTML version of the information in addition to the original format whenever possible.

Language & Translation

We use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a page's content.

The entire website can be translated with one click. 30+ language options include those most commonly spoken in Boston and the original English text pops up over the translated text so that the user can compare versions.
Translate the Site

Providing Text Alternatives for Non-Text Content

All images presented to the user have a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose. This is done for the benefit of users who are utilizing assistive technologies.

Page Templates & CSS  

We redesigned our page templates and style sheets to make the site more accessible for screen readers, and improving readability for translation and search engines. Changes include:

  • the elimination of text as images,
  • table-less layout,
  • no information is exclusively conveyed using color, and 
  • documents reorganized so that they may be read without style sheets.

Navigation

We ensure that our webpages appear and operate in predictable ways by using consistent navigation and consistent identification. To this end, we make the following efforts:  

  • descriptive page titles
  • clear and consistent navigation menu
  • link text that clearly describes the purpose of links 
  • section headings used to organize content
  • no use of frames 

Additionally, our site navigation is device independent. Full functionality is available via a keyboard and a mouse is not required.

Forms

Design
Online forms are accessible to people using assistive technology. All form controls have text labels, form elements have labels associated with them in their markup, and scripting of the form does not interfere with assistive technologies.

Input Assistance
Form field are labeled clearly and instructions are provided whenever necessary. If an error is detected, it is identified and described to the user. Whenever appropriate, a step is included for reviewing, confirming and correcting information before submission.

Availability of Contact Information

Contact information, including email, phone and name (when appropriate) is available on every page of the website. Content or department specific contact information is available as well as a general 24x7 contact number.
Contact the City of Boston

WiFi & Public Internet Access

The City is working to bridge the "Digital Divide" by creating WiFi hot spots all around Boston and making internet access available at libraries and community centers throughout the city.  

Cross-Browser Compatibility

Pages are designed and tested for compatibility with all major web browsers and operating systems. 

Mobile Website

The mobile version of CityofBoston.gov website is optimized for 5,000+ mobile devices, providing mobile phone users with quick and easy access to the information they want most.
More Info

Seizures

None of the pages on our website contain anything that flashes or flickers in a way that is known to cause seizures.


While we are committed to making our website accessible to all users, we recognize that not all of our pages may be ADA compliant at this time. If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our website interferes with your ability to access the information, please contact the City of Boston Web Team.