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HHS proposes use of WCAG 2.0 for Electronic Health Records

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bailey@Access-Board.gov>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 17:46:07 +0000
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C18AC41C570F214AAD320947DF8D16CE42097DF1@CH1PRD0802MB120.namprd08.prod.outlook.com>
Health Information Technology; Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria: Electronic Health Record Technology, 2014 Edition
From: https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-4430

We believe that all patients should have an equal opportunity to access their electronic health information without barriers or diminished functionality or quality.  Thus, after consultation with the HHS Office for Civil Rights and HHS Office on Disability and reviewing the efforts of other Federal agencies, we propose that the viewing capability must meet Level AA conformance with the most recent set of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  Federal agencies are considering, or proposing to adopt, WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance for industries and technology they regulate.  The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) is considering applying WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance to Federal agencies and telecommunications accessibility, which apply to telecommunication manufacturers.  The Department of Transportation is proposing to require WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance for air carrier Web sites and airport kiosks.

The WCAG were developed through an open process by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  The most recent set of guidelines (WCAG 2.0) were published in 2008 and are organized under 4 central principles with testable "success criteria": Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.  Each guideline offers 3 levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA.  Level A conformance corresponds to the most basic requirements for displaying Web content.  Level AA conformance provides for a stronger level of accessibility by requiring conformance with Level A success criteria as well as Level AA specific success criteria.  Level AAA conformance comprises the highest level of accessibility within the WCAG guidelines and includes all Level A and Level AA success criteria as well as success criteria unique to Level AAA.  We are proposing compliance with Level AA because it provides a stronger level of accessibility and addresses areas of importance to the disabled community that are not included in Level A.  For example, success criteria unique to Level AA include specifications of minimum contrast ratios for text and images of text, and a requirement that text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.  In addition to WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance, we are interested in whether commenters believe additional standards are needed for certification to ensure accessibility for the viewing capability, such as the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Version 2.0 of the UAAG is designed to align with WCAG 2.0, but is currently only in draft form.

If you want to comment, here is a direct link to the form:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=HHS_FRDOC_0001-0446
Received on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 17:46:50 GMT

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