TITLE 1. ADMINISTRATION

PART 10. DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION RESOURCES

CHAPTER 206. STATE WEBSITES

The Texas Department of Information Resources (the Department) adopts amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206, §§206.1, 206.50, 206.52, 206.70, and 206.72, concerning State Websites, to clarify the processes and policies of current practices and correct typographical errors. Sections 206.1, 206.50, and 206.70 are adopted with changes to the text as published in the September 29, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5195) and are published below.

The Department published a formal notice of rule review in the March 11, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 1980). After Board approval at the August 24, 2017, Board Meeting, the Department published the proposed amendments in the September 29, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 5195). The proposed rules were submitted to the Information Technology Council for Higher Education and external state agency stakeholders for review and comment prior to bringing the rule to the Board. Their comments were considered, and many have been incorporated herein. Review of the sections implements Government Code, §2001.039.

DIR received a comment from ITCHE regarding the definition of electronic and information resources in §206.1(9) to include the addition of the word "store". DIR agrees with the comment and made the following change: Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment used to create, convert, duplicate, store or deliver data or information.

DIR received a comment from ITCHE regarding the definition of state website in §206.1(20) to include the addition of the phrase "or institution of higher education". DIR agrees with the comment and made the following change: A website that is connected to the Internet and is owned, funded, or operated by or for a state agency or institution of higher education, including key public entry points.

DIR received a comment from ITCHE regarding §206.50(a)(1) to correct a citation. DIR agrees with the comment and made the following change: the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline1.2 Time Based Media).

DIR received comment from ITCHE regarding §206.70(a)(1) to correct a citation. DIR agrees with the comment and made the following change: the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline1.2 Time Based Media).

In 1 TAC §206.1, the Department adopts a definition for assistive technologies. The definition is consistent with 1 TAC §213 and provides clarification to the rule. The Department clarifies the definition of Section 508. The Department revised the definition of Electronic and information resources to be consistent with 1 TAC §213. The Department adds a definition for Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The Department renumbered the definitions to reflect the changes.

In 1 TAC §206.50(a), the Department clarifies the effective date of complying with the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline1.2 Time Based Media).

In 1 TAC §206.50(b), the Department in consultation with Accessibility coordinators, determined each state agency must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites.

In 1 TAC §206.50(c), the Department staff adopts language changes to clarify the rule.

In 1 TAC §206.50(d), the Department staff adopts a language change to clarify the rule and allow increased flexibility for state agencies.

In 1 TAC §206.50(e), the Department staff adopts removing unnecessary language.

In 1 TAC §206.50(f), the Department staff adopts adding new language to ensure state agencies remain up to date on emerging technologies and content delivery platforms.

In 1 TAC §206.50(g), the Department staff adopts adding a requirement for the Department to assist in setting statewide goals and track agencies' progress towards those goals.

In 1 TAC §206.52, the Department staff adopts correction of an incorrect Texas Penal Code legal citation.

In 1 TAC §206.70(a), the Department clarifies the effective date of complying with the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding 1.2 Time Based Media).

In 1 TAC §206.70(b), the Department in consultation with Accessibility coordinators, determined each institute of higher education must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites.

In 1 TAC §206.70(c), the Department staff adopts language changes to clarify the rule.

In 1 TAC §206.70(d), the Department staff adopts a language change to clarify the rule and allow increased flexibility for institutions of higher education.

In 1 TAC §206.70(e), the Department staff adopts removing unnecessary language.

In 1 TAC §206.70(f), the Department staff adopts adding new language to ensure institutions of higher education remain up to date on emerging technologies and content delivery platforms.

In 1 TAC §206.70(g), the Department staff adopts adding a requirement for the Department to assist in setting institution of higher education goals and track institutions of higher education progress towards those goals.

In 1 TAC §206.72, the Department staff adopts correction of an incorrect Texas Penal Code legal citation.

The changes to the chapter apply to state agencies and institutions of higher education. The assessment of the impact of the adopted changes on institutions of higher education was prepared in consultation with the Information Technology Council for Higher Education (ITCHE) in compliance with §2054.121(c), Texas Government Code.

The clarification of terms and definitions, and the specific operational and business procedures highlighted in the rule, increases the effectiveness of the rule for agencies and institutions.

Mr. John Hoffman, Chief Technology Officer, has determined that during the first five-year period following the adoption of the amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206, there will be limited fiscal impact on state agencies, institutions of higher education and local governments to comply with the amendments to the rule.

Mr. Hoffman has also determined that during the first five-year period following the adoption of the amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206, there may be fiscal impact to state agencies and institutions of higher education required to comply with the amendments to the rule. That fiscal impact will vary, depending on the degree to which the state agencies, institutions, and vendors have a mature and robust Electronics and Information Resources accessibility program. To minimize the impact on agencies and institutions, compliance to the amended accessibility rules are not required until April of 2020.

Mr. Hoffman has further determined that for each year of the first five years following the adoption of the amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206 there are limited anticipated additional economic costs to persons or small businesses required to comply with the adopted amendments to the rule.

Mr. Hoffman has further determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of the amended rules will result in better accessibility to state websites for citizens with disabilities.

SUBCHAPTER A. DEFINITIONS

1 TAC §206.1

The amendments are adopted under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §§2054.112, 2054.116, 2054.125, 2054.126 and 2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this adoption.

§206.1.Applicable Terms and Technologies for State Websites.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, must have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Section 508--The technical standards issued by the US Access Board implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, 29 U.S.C. §794(d). In particular, the standards related to web accessibility (WCAG 2.0 AA) contained in 36 CFR Part 1194.

(2) Accessible--A web page that can be used in a variety of ways and does not depend on a single sense or ability.

(3) Agency head--The top-most senior executive with operational accountability for an agency, department, commission, board, office, council, authority, or other agency in the executive or judicial branch of state government, that is created by the constitution or a statute of the state; or institutions of higher education, as defined in §61.003, Education Code.

(4) Alternate formats--Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, Braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that comply with this chapter.

(5) Alternate methods--Different means of providing information, including product documentation, to people with disabilities. Alternate methods may include, but are not limited to, voice, fax, relay service, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.

(6) Assistive Technologies---Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

(7) Contact information--A list of key personnel, positions, or program names, with corresponding phone numbers and/or email addresses for each; and other information deemed necessary by the agency or institution of higher education for facilitating public access.

(8) Compact With Texans--Customer service standards and performance measures required of state agencies, including institutions of higher education, by §2113.006 and §2114.006, Texas Government Code.

(9) Electronic and information resources---Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment used to create, convert, duplicate, store or deliver data or information. EIR includes telecommunications products, information kiosks and transaction machines, web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For example, equipment such as thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment that contain information technology that is integral to its operation, are not information technology. If the embedded information technology has an externally available web or computer interface, that interface is considered EIR. Other terms such as, but not limited to, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Electronic Information Technology (EIT), etc. can be considered interchangeable terms with EIR for purposes of applicability or compliance with this chapter.

(10) Exception--A justified, documented non-conformance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, which has been approved by the agency head.

(11) Exemption--A justified, documented non-conformance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, which has been approved by the Department and which is applicable statewide.

(12) High-value data set--Information that can be used to increase state agency accountability and responsiveness, improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations, further the core mission of the agency, create economic opportunity, or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation. The term does not include information that is confidential or protected from disclosure under state or federal law.

(13) Home page--The initial page that serves as the front door or entry point to a state website.

(14) Internet--An electronic communications network that connects computer networks and computer facilities around the world.

(15) Intranet--A computer network operating like the Internet but having access restricted to a limited group of authorized users such as employees of an agency or an institution of higher education.

(16) Key public entry point--A web page on a state website that is frequently accessed directly by members of the public, which a state agency or institution of higher education has specifically designed to enable direct access to official agency or institution of higher education information.

(17) Open standard format--Stable, published formats for data that are nonproprietary, free from licensing restrictions, independent of any individual vendor, and free to use, reuse, and redistribute.

(18) Personal identifying information--Information that could serve to identify an individual as defined by §521.002, Texas Business and Commerce Code.

(19) Site policies page--A web page containing the website policies of the state agency or institution of higher education, or a link to each policy.

(20) State website--A website that is connected to the Internet and is owned, funded, or operated by or for a state agency or institution of higher education, including key public entry points.

(21) TRAIL--Texas Records and Information Locator or its successor, providing a method to do a statewide search.

(22) Transaction Risk Assessment--An evaluation of the security and privacy required for an interactive web session providing public access to government information and services. Additional information and guidelines are included in Part 2: Risks Pertaining to Electronic Transactions and Signed Records in "The Guidelines for the Management of Electronic Transactions and Signed Records" available on the Department's website.

(23) Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0--a referenceable, international technical standard containing 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Also known as ISO/IEC International Standard ISO/IEC 40500:2012.

(24) Web page--Presentation of state website content, including documents and files containing text, graphics, sounds, video, or other content, that is accessed through a web browser.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 26, 2018.

TRD-201800341

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Effective date: February 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: September 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577


SUBCHAPTER B. STATE AGENCY WEBSITES

1 TAC §206.50, §206.52

The rules are adopted under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this adoption.

§206.50.Accessibility.

(a) Effective April 18, 2020, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web pages must comply with:

(1) the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline1.2 Time Based Media):

(A) Agencies shall consider the use of these standards for new websites or web applications prior to the effective date; or

(B) may continue to use US Section 508 standards published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000, subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k) prior to the effective date;

(2) the standards and specifications described in this section; and

(3) the standards and specifications applicable to a state agency's accessibility policy described in §213.21 of this title.

(b) Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a live/real time open meeting (Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551) or training and informational video productions which support the agency's mission, each state agency must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites. Refer to §206.1 of this chapter for definitions for Alternate Formats and Alternate Methods.

(c) When compliance cannot be accomplished for an EIR, an alternative version of the page, form, application, document, or other EIR with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section. The alternative version must remain synchronized to the primary EIR and updated whenever the primary EIR changes.

(d) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web page/site designs must be tested by the state agency using one or more EIR accessibility validation tools, including but not limited to the use of automated methods, manual methods or assistive technologies to validate compliance with this chapter.

(e) A state agency must establish an accessibility policy as described in §213.21 of this title which must include criteria for monitoring its website for compliance with the standards and specifications of this chapter.

(f) State websites and web applications should be designed to support:

(1) variations in internet connection speeds and emerging communications protocols and technologies; and

(2) the ability to adapt content to end user devices such as mobile phone, tablets, or other devices which are available to the general public.

(g) The department shall assist with establishing statewide agency website accessibility compliance goals, and track agency progress towards achieving those goals.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 26, 2018.

TRD-201800342

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Effective date: February 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: September 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577


SUBCHAPTER C. INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION WEBSITES

1 TAC §206.70, §206.72

The amendments are adopted under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this adoption.

§206.70.Accessibility.

(a) Effective April 18, 2020, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web pages must comply with:

(1) the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix C Chapter7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline 1.2 Time Based Media):

(A) Agencies shall consider the use of these standards for new websites or web applications prior to the effective date; or

(B) may continue to use US Section 508 standards published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000, subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k) prior to the effective date;

(2) the standards and specifications described in this section; and

(3) the standards and specifications applicable to a state agency's accessibility policy described in §213.41 of this title.

(b) Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a live/real time open meeting (Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551) or training and informational video productions which support the institution of higher education's mission, each institution of higher education must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites. Refer to §206.1 of this chapter for definitions for Alternate Formats and Alternate Methods.

(c) When compliance cannot be accomplished for an EIR, an alternative version of the page, form, application, document, or other EIR with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section. The alternative version must remain synchronized to the primary EIR and updated whenever the primary EIR changes.

(d) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.37 of this title, all new or changed web page/site designs must be tested by the institution of higher education using one or more EIR accessibility validation tools, including but not limited to the use of automated methods, manual methods or assistive technologies to validate compliance with this chapter.

(e) An institution of higher education must establish an accessibility policy as described in §213.41 of this title which must include criteria for monitoring its website for compliance with the standards and specifications of this chapter.

(f) Institutions of higher education websites and web applications should be designed to support:

(1) variations in internet connection speeds and emerging communications protocols and technologies; and

(2) the ability to adapt content to end user devices such as mobile phone, tablets, or other devices which are available to the general public.

(g) The Department shall assist in consultation with ITCHE with establishing statewide agency website accessibility compliance goals for institutions of higher education, and track progress towards achieving those goals.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 26, 2018.

TRD-201800343

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Effective date: February 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: September 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577