A person uses special equipment to access a website

Accessibility Compliance

City of Seattle websites and web applications are compliant with current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at the AA level. These guidelines focus on four modes of accessibility: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

For information on how the City of Seattle supports people with disabilities, visit the Americans with Disabilities Act webpage.

Accessibility Practices

All City staff working on websites and web applications contribute to making these resources accessible. We regularly educate staff and invest in digital accessibility training to keep our staff up to date with accessibility best practices.

View the Accessibility section of the City of Seattle Digital Style Guide.


  • Understand our users and their needs
  • Mobile-first for mobile experience
  • Heuristic evaluations
  • Design library leverages WCAG 2.1 AA components
  • New prototypes use vetted patterns
  • Usability testing with people with disabilities


  • Visual checks for color contrast, layout, and alternative (alt) text
  • Accessibility testing for quality assurance
  • Communicate errors to content owners and consult on remediation


  • Existing code base leverages elements that have been tested for accessibility
  • New and existing code leverages WCAG 2.1 AA
  • Use automated accessibility testing on new and existing code to discover and correct accessibility errors


  • Use automated accessibility testing when making content updates
  • Leverage the City's accessibility checklist for manual testing

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

In 2023, we conducted the City’s first Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for the Seattle.gov website. This global report format is generally used by technology vendors to outline how their product aligns with accessibility standards. The report provides a snapshot of the level of accessibility on the Seattle.gov website.

View the Report

Overall, the Seattle.gov website supports digital accessibility. We face challenges where maps and data dashboards are embedded in webpages. These types of software applications are not inherently accessible and require additional functionality to provide the information in an inclusive way.

Below is a summary of the findings for nine audience types outlined in the Federal Government's Section 508 Standards:


Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
Without Vision Partially Supports Some features of the product, such as the various unlabeled form and widget controls, may not be fully understandable or operable for users without vision.
With Limited Vision Partially Supports Some content in the site, when zoomed for larger text sizes, may be difficult to perceive for users with limited vision.
Without Perception of Color Partially Supports Some features of the product, such as the data visualizations and map widgets, may not be fully perceivable or discernable for users without perception of color.
Without Hearing Partially Supports Some features of the product, such as embedded videos without captions, may not be fully understandable for users without hearing.
With Limited Hearing Supports The product features do not significantly impact users with limited hearing.
Without Speech Supports The product features do not significantly impact users without speech.
With Limited Manipulation Partially Supports Some product features and workflows including maps, data visualization, and complex dashboard widgets may not be fully operable for users with limited manipulation.
With Limited Reach and Strength Supports The product features do not significantly impact users with limited reach or strength.
With Limited Language, Cognitive, and Learning Abilities Supports The product features do not significantly impact users with limited language, cognitive, or learning abilities.

Areas of Improvement for All Digital Properties

  • Continue to leverage automated and manual testing using assistive technology, which uncovers accessibility errors we would otherwise miss.
  • Include accessibility in the technology procurement process to ensure that third-party vendors are using an inclusive product.
  • Reach out to existing City vendors to bring their applications into compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Section 508.
  • Work with the City's internal application developers to improve access to tools like maps and data dashboards. The use of an accessible color palette and alternative displays will make gains.
  • Ensure that content editors across the City are creating and auditing digital content updates for accessibility.
  • Work to remediate remaining accessibility issues on seattle.gov that were discovered through the VPAT process that were not immediately addressable.
  • While not a strict legal requirement, work to resolve Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AAA issues on seattle.gov.