Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project development

Engagement process | Public Engagement and Communications

Document Accessibility


All MnDOT documents need to be in an accessible format, whether they are produced internally or by an external contractor. Accessibility, which is required by state and federal law, is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites, documents, or presentations by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed. When sites, documents, and presentations meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standard, all users should have equal access to information and functionality.

When to use this subject

Follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines in 42 USC §12101 et seq. and the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC §794d) when you prepare all public project documents or documents that will be submitted or circulated internally.

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

All documents for both internal and external use must meet the accessibility standards at all phases of project development. The Web Team in the Office of Communications will reject any documents you submit that do not meet these standards. Presentations used during public engagement activities need to meet color, font, and spacing requirements.

All MnDOT contracts include accessibility language (see below). Familiarize yourself with the language and make the contractor aware of this section of the contract in order to reduce confusion about whether the final product is in compliance. There are different levels of accessibility, but the contractor needs to understand that only the WCAG 2.0 (Level AA) standards will meet the state of Minnesota requirements. 

Excerpt from standard contract language

Accessibility Standards. Except for designs, plans, layouts, maps and similar documents, Contractor agrees to comply with the State of Minnesota’s Accessibility Standard for all deliverables under this contract. The State of Minnesota’s Accessibility Standards  entail, in part, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (Level AA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. Contractor’s compliance with the State of Minnesota’s Accessibility Standard includes, but is not limited to, the specific requirements as follows:

  • All videos must include closed captions, audio descriptions and a link to a complete transcript
  • All documents, presentations, spreadsheets and other material must be provided in an accessible format
    • In addition, Contractor will provide native files in an editable format
    • Acceptable formats include InDesign, Word and Excel
  • All materials intended for downloading and printing such as promotional brochures, must be labeled as such and the content must additionally be provided in an accessible format

Organizations involved