California Child Support Services Improving Accessibility

In the past few years, California has grown to be one of the leaders in making government processes accessible to citizens with disabilities.

In 2017, California signed Assembly Bill 434 into law. State agencies were required to certify that their official websites comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA, or a subsequent version, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. California Child Support Services launched their fully compliant website in May 2019 and achieved compliance of all documents downloadable from the website by the end of the year. With 2020, accessibility improvements began to be expanded throughout department communications.

Child Support Services’ Technology Services Department was already using the Web Accessibility community standards for new products being developed. It was determined that legacy applications such as the online application for services, the Child Support Guideline Calculator and the self-service Customer Connect platform should be compliant as well, and as updates roll out accessibility improvements will be added. The 2020 contract for the State Disbursement Unit also added accessibility requirements language to the scope of work, and that fully compliant website launched in April of this year.

To coordinate future efforts in digital accessibility, the position of Accessibility Coordinator has been created working jointly with the offices of Communications and Public Affairs and Equal Employment Opportunity within California Child Support. This management position will be responsible for developing and implementing department policy on accessibility and accessibility training, ensuring all internal and external documents are compliant with accessibility standards and will work towards tracking and resolving accessibility complaints. With this new position, California Child Support Services joins various state departments such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Department of Health Care Services, Department of Public Health, and Department of Technology, all of which are dedicating increased resources to reaching Californians with disabilities.

California Child Support Services is committed to ensuring that ALL Californians have access to information and services provided to the public both internally and externally. To request information available on the Child Support Services website in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable accommodation for a related service visit: https://childsupport.ca.gov/accessibility/