Accessibility is the process of designing products and services for people who experience disabilities, and removing barriers that might prevent people with disabilities from using those products and services.
Web accessibility is a part of including people with disabilities.
At Lincoln Park Zoo, our mission is to connect people with nature. Accordingly, we need to be inclusive to everyone—in both the digital and physical spaces we provide our visitors.
To help make our own website inclusive of everyone, we adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These guidelines are the industry standard for making web content accessible to people with disabilities and more user friendly for everyone. These guidelines have three levels of conformance (A, AA, AAA), and we’ve chosen to meet AA guidelines and AAA when possible.
If you find yourself unable to use an aspect of our website for some reason, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our contact form. It’s very important for us to help you and improve our website for everyone based on your feedback.
Measures Taken to Ensure Accessibility
Throughout our website experience, there is a sitewide pause button in the bottom right of the screen. If you click the button (or activate it with a keyboard or other assistive technology), all auto-play animations that don’t depend on your scroll will stop, allowing you to experience the site with less distractions.
Guidelines are not a substitute for actually speaking with people with disabilities. As a part of the website design and build process, our digital partners, Clique Studios, tested the site’s features and capabilities with people with disabilities and made adjustments based on real experiences.
After the site was built, an accessibility expert conducted an extensive QA process to ensure that the outlined AA accessibility guidelines were achieved. They used audit technologies, as well as manual processes, throughout QA. The website has been tested on desktop and mobile devices, including phones and tablets. In addition, the website was tested with many common pairings of screen readers and operating systems.
Everyone on staff who has a role with updating or maintaining the website has received accessibility training as a part of their onboarding. This was done to ensure that ongoing accessibility considerations were continuously considered and prioritized.
Known Website Limitations
Some of our guests report having occasional accessibility issues with some of our third-party vendors. Please contact us if you experience these issues. We’re committed to helping you overcome any challenges.
Laws & Policies
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment and in the employment of federal contractors.
In 1998, the act was amended to add Section 508, which requires federal agencies to provide accessible electronic resources and information technology to people with disabilities, and specifically references the internet. Section 508 built grounds for web accessibility-focused lawsuits for both members of the public and employees.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most extensive piece of legislature for disability rights. The ADA guarantees people with disabilities the same opportunities as everyone else in employment, purchase of goods/services, and participation in government programs. Because it was founded in 1990 before the widespread use of the internet, there is not a specific section that mentions web accessibility. However, lawsuits have leveraged the ADA to set a precedent for the ADA to apply to intangible goods and services (including websites)—specifically, Title II, which states that communications with persons with disabilities must be “as effective as communications with others,” and Title III, which addresses public accommodation of people with disabilities.