Policies

Accessibility Policy

In response to the need to ensure equal access to electronic and information technologies, the state of Alabama has developed a set of standards for Web page design. Just as environmental obstacles have inhibited individuals with disabilities, the Web poses an entirely new set of obstacles. In recognition of those individuals with visual, physical or developmental disabilities alabama.gov has adopted a policy to make government information accessible to all.

It has been estimated that 54 million people or 20.6 percent of all Americans have some level of disability. According to the Disability Statistics Center:
  • People with disabilities will work in greater numbers, in part because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Between 1991 and 1994, the number of disabled Americans employed increased by more than 1.1 million, according to the Census Bureau. Employment rates for young adults with severe disabilities are triple that of their older counterparts.
  • Education rates for people with disabilities are increasing: 75 percent of them finished high school in 1994, up from 60% in 1986; their college enrollment leapt from 29 percent to 44 percent.
  • Technological advances are eliminating many of the physical and informational barriers that have long existed for people with disabilities.
  • Public awareness of disability issues is growing and changing.
  • America's population is aging, and disability increases with age. The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to increase 135% between 1995 and 2050, according to the Census Bureau.
Design Standards

These standards are influenced by those recommended by the W3C and Access Board. The Access Board is responsible for developing the standards outlined by the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1998. Universal design calls for appropriate use auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure communication.

alabama.gov has adopted the Design of HTML Pages to increase accessibility to users with disabilities as the primary guideline to meet the objectives of the Universal Access for State Design policy. These published guidelines are maintained by professionals trained in the area of assistive and information technology.

alabama.gov embraces these standards and will be evaluating our site on a regular basis, increasing the opportunity for all individuals to access information over the Internet. The Universal Access Design Standards are being integrated into alabama.gov and will continue to evolve as new technologies and opportunities emerge.

Every graphic image will have an "alt" tag and a short description that is intuitive to the user. If a graphic image is used as a navigation element, it will contain text description and direction that is intuitive to the user. Decorative graphics, such as bullets, will be set with an "alt" tag of <empty> as to not impede screen readers.

For every graphic element that uses an image map, alternative text of the hyperlink will be provided.

The Official Web Site of the State of Alabama will have descriptive, intuitive text links and avoid the use of vague references such as "click," "here," "link," or "this."

An alternative form of access will be made available for online forms, such as an email address or phone number.

The use of frames will be avoided since they cannot be read intelligently by screen readers, create navigation problems and are not supported by all browsers.alabama.gov cannot be held responsible for sites outside the network that utilize frames.

Multiple browser testing will be conducted on the current versions of Firefox, Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Safari and Lynx.

Additional Resources

The Law

The Section 508 Web Site is an excellent source for general information, standards, evaluation, events, and resources surrounding Section 508, which will impact electronic and information technology on the Web.
http://www.section508.gov/

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended for the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The content of this document directly relates to the Federal government and any public or private industry contracting with the Federal government.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/508law.html

Enforcing ADA compliance - The Department of Justice handles complaints and enforcement.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/enforce.htm

Title II, Section 508 speaks directly to state, local governments and all other public entities. This highlights page provides a concise overview, abbreviated information on specific chapters that must comply with ADA standards and information about the complaint and enforcement process.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/t2hlt95.htm

HTML and Accessibility Standards: Checklists

The Web Accessibility Checklist - From the W3C, this checklist covers all three priority levels of compliance and is much more in depth.
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/full-checklist.html

The Web Page Accessibility Checklist from the Department of Justice
http://www.section508.gov/

The Software Accessibility Checklist from the Department of Justice
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/archive/oldsoftware.html

The following "Quick Tips" introduce some key concepts of accessible Web design.
http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips/

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Linking Policy

This Web portal may contain hypertext links to external Web sites and pages containing information created and maintained by public and private organizations other than alabama.gov. These hypertext links may be created by alabama.gov if it determines that establishing the external link will be consistent with assisting or furthering the purpose of this Web portal, which is to significantly and diligently promote public service to citizens and businesses by:
  • Expanding business and citizen access to government services and government information;
  • Offering an easy and convenient process for citizens and businesses to conduct transactions with State government online;
  • Accelerating the development and delivery of an increased volume of high quality online government services;
  • Improving the level of customer service from State government;
  • Extending electronic government services to citizens of cities and county government.
In addition, hypertext links may be created by alabama.gov for informational purposes where the linked external Web site will provide useful and valuable information to visitors of this Web portal, or where the linked external Web site is required or authorized by law.

alabama.gov, in its sole discretion, will determine whether the external Web site meets the purpose of this Web portal or for the specified informational purposes. The inclusion of a hypertext link to an external Web site is not intended as an endorsement of any product or service offered or referenced on the linked Web site, the organizations sponsoring said Web site, or any views that might be expressed or referenced in the Web site.

Hypertext links to external Web sites and pages may be removed or replaced at the sole discretion of alabama.gov, at any time without notice. In the event you discover problems with or have concerns regarding the format, accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of a linked external Web site, please contact the organization responsible for the linked external Web site. alabama.gov does not control and is not responsible for any linked external Web sites, pages, or content.

We encourage you to link to alabama.gov. Unfortunately, we cannot always create reciprocal links back to your site, which may not meet our criteria for posting links (Alabama state government agency/organization, federal, or other site which is deemed as an important resource for related state government services or information). If you would like to request a link be added to alabama.gov, please submit your request in writing to webmaster@alabamainteractive.org.

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Security Policy

Internet Security Statement

Security is the most critical segment of the alabama.gov network. alabama.gov considers the security of our partners' and citizens' information critical. We handle online information with commitment to ensure a secure environment that can be trusted to fulfill all confidentiality requirements. Documented steps are taken to safeguard information according to established security standards and procedures and we continually assess the newest technology for protecting information.

Sensitive information used in financial transactions, such as social security numbers, banking information and personal data is confidential. alabama.gov is committed to ensuring our partners' and citizens' confidentiality through the use of state-of-the-art information security and the adoption of appropriate privacy policies and procedures:
  • The entire record request transaction occurs in a password protected, secured environment.
  • All of the information is exchanged via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption.
  • All information requests must pass through multiple hardware and software security firewalls.
  • Communication with the State database is encrypted over the network via Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • alabama.gov maintains an online privacy log that tracks every record request when accessing billable or subscriber services.
  • alabama.gov audits users' access to records when accessing billable or subscriber services.
  • alabama.gov adopted a Privacy Policy which outlines access to and the display of citizen information. alabama.gov will not sell or distribute user information.
Please refer to individual Alabama State Agency Web Sites for their Security Policies, which may differ from the one displayed here.

Copyright Issues

When using alabama.gov or other Alabama State Government web sites, you may encounter documents or other information resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use as defined in the copyright laws requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Please contact the individual Alabama State Agencies for their specific policies concerning additional notification of conditions associated with the use of information contained on their web sites.

Disclaimers

Information presented on this Web Site is collected, maintained, and provided for the convenience of the reader. While every effort is made to keep such information accurate and up-to-date, the State of Alabama can not certify the authenticity of information that originates from third parties. Under no circumstances shall the State of Alabama be liable for any actions taken or omissions made from reliance on any information contained herein from whatever source nor shall the State be liable for any other consequences from any such reliance.
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Legal Notices

Any trademarks that appear on this site are the property of their respective owners who may or may not be affiliated with, connected to, or sponsored by alabama.gov.

alabama.gov respects the rights of all copyright holders, and therefore, alabama.gov has adopted and implemented a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of users and account holders who infringe the rights of copyright holders. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide alabama.gov's Copyright Agent the following information required by the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512:
  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  • Identification of the copyright work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party;
  • A statement that the complaining party has a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  • For copyright inquiries please contact:
    Alabama Interactive
    Email: copyrightagent@egov.com

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    Child Online Privacy Protection Act

    Children under the age of 13 are not eligible to use services that require submission of personal information and should not submit any personal information to us. This includes submitting personal information to the website as part of a user profile or personalization profile. If you are a child under the age of 13, you can use these services only if used together with your parents or guardians. Seek guidance from your parents or guardians if you are under the age of 13.

    If we decide to begin collecting personal information from children under the age of 13, we will notify parents that it is being requested, disclose the reasons for collecting it, and disclose our intended use of it. We will seek verifiable parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information. If we do collect such information, parents may request information on the type of data being collected, view their child's information, and, if they choose, prohibit us from making further use of their child's information. We will not provide personal information about children to third parties.

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