Over the past few years, accessibility has become a vital consideration in the realm of government innovation. While federal agencies are now required to make their websites accessible to users with disabilities, state and local governments are increasingly expected to adhere to Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 standards.
But creating accessible and compliant web pages is only part of the puzzle. What about all of the forms and applications that live on these pages? Posting PDF applications on municipal websites poses major challenges for disabled users, who cannot easily see the text or modify it for assistive technologies. Additionally, these applications often need to be printed and mailed in, or physically brought to the office, further violating WCAG 2.0 guidelines. Now more than ever, governments are desperately seeking compliant alternatives to these paper processes.
A few years ago, Montgomery, AL decided that they were going to make strides toward improving the accessibility of their services. In particular, the City was looking for a solution to automate Public Records Requests in a fully compliant manner. Previously, this was a paper-based form that required signatures and certain information, but often this form was submitted without required fields, launching a whole back-and-forth between a citizen and the Records Officer that added weeks of processing time. The City of Montgomery knew that this process needed to be brought online, and wanted to do so in a way that would benefit all constituents.
In searching for a government-focused form solution, Montgomery found SeamlessGov at the forefront of providing accessible, and 508 and ADA compliant solutions. The SeamlessGov platform allows governments to build fully compliant web forms from scratch and convert existing PDF forms into online services, with eSignatures, payments, attachments, and workflow. With drag-and-drop capabilities, our Form Solution empowers staff with no technical experience to quickly and easily transform cumbersome paper processes into robust digital versions, while optimizing accessibility for all users.
In this session, we will be co-presenting with Kimberly Wright, the Webmaster in Montgomery, AL, who is working with us to bring the City’s paper forms online. Together, we will showcase the SeamlessGov-enabled online services that Montgomery provides for its constituents, and discuss the importance of developing services for citizens with accessibility in mind.
Three Key Takeaways
- 508/ADA compliance are becoming the new standard for governments nationwide.
- Most existing form processes do not adhere to the accessibility guidelines in place.
- SeamlessGov is partnering with governments (such as Montgomery, AL) to transform paper-based forms processes into accessible, compliant online services.