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Web Accessibility in California - Assembly Bill 434


Time and again, the state of California has proven to be a pioneer where consumer rights are concerned, for example, with strict data privacy regulations being passed and enforced, and web accessibility is no different. On top of the ADA Title III and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which apply all over the United States, California has two state-level pieces of legislation which mandate compliance with web accessibility guidelines for both businesses and state agencies, namely the Unruh Act and Assembly Bill (AB) 434. 

Having already discussed the Unruh Act in our overview page for this law, in this article, we are looking at AB 434’s requirements. 


What is California’s Assembly Bill 434? 

Assembly Bill AB 434, is California's Web Accessibility Law, which aims to ensure that websites and web applications operated by the state of California are accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. 

It was signed into law back in 2017 and it became effective on July 1, 2019, aligning with the broader goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, both of which state that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government has to be accessible to people with disabilities.

A few key points about California’s web accessibility law include the following: 

  • AB 434 specifically requires that state agencies and state entities ensure their websites and web content meet the web accessibility standards outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or a subsequent version, at Level AA success criteria. 
  • By ‘state agency’ and ‘state entity’ it understands the definitions in the California’s Code, subdivision (e) of Section 11546.1

(1) For purposes of this section, “state agency” means the Transportation Agency, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, Natural Resources Agency, California Health and Human Services Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and Department of Food and Agriculture.

(2) For purposes of this section, “state entity” means an entity within the executive branch that is under the direct authority of the Governor, including, but not limited to, all departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, councils, and offices that are not defined as a “state agency” pursuant to paragraph (1).

  • It mandates that the Director of each state agency or state entity has to certify that their website(s) comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA (or later versions), Section 7405 (which mandates that state government entities have to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act), and Section 11135 (which prohibits discrimination based on “ race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, genetic information, or disability”) of the California Code.
  • The certification must be renewed every two years and posted on the website of each state entity.
  • There are no specific requirements other than ensuring compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, and no penalties for those websites that do not comply with AB 434.

AB 434 Website Accessibility Certification - Example

In order to understand the above, we thought an example would help, and what better example to use than that of the California Department of Technology (CDT)?


Here’s what their website accessibility certification looks like: 



Although Assembly Bill 434 is merely a state-level piece of legislation, directly impacting California state websites, it has broader impact by serving as a model for other US states looking to enhance web accessibility and inclusivity for all. In its being passed into law, California’s accessibility law showed the growing recognition of the importance of accessibility in the digital age, setting a precedent for similar laws and policies in other jurisdictions, such as Colorado’s accessibility law, House Bill (HB) 21-1110, which is at this time the only web accessibility law that sets out clear guidelines for compliance and penalties for violations.


What are some resources for further learning about web accessibility? 

If you want to learn more about making websites easy to use for everyone, there are lots of resources you can access, from the detailed WCAG guidelines to specialized services that focus on accessibility compliance. Engaging with these resources can provide your business with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of web accessibility and particularly ADA compliance and contribute to a more inclusive digital environment.

To help you get started, our team has compiled a series of articles on web accessibility and the various web accessibility regulations currently in place around the world which we are including below: 

How can Clym help make my website accessibility ready?

Clym offers a comprehensive tool designed to facilitate data privacy and web accessibility compliance with the WCAG 2.1 standards for websites while providing customizable settings for users. 

By leveraging Clym's solution, your business can not only improve its website traffic and conversion rates but also mitigate the risk of accessibility-related legal challenges, such as those posed by the ADA Title III and the many web accessibility lawsuits being filed against businesses found to be non-compliant. 

Our user-friendly platform simplifies the management of compliance requirements, seamlessly integrating these features to meet both legal compliance and business needs effectively.

Interested in finding out how Clym can help you transform your website into an accessible website? 

Start today by scheduling a demo or reaching out  to us for a discussion tailored to your unique needs.




What is web accessibility and why is it important?

Web accessibility ensures that everyone, including people with various disabilities, can use websites effectively. It is vital because it provides equal access to information and functionality, aligning with principles like the WCAG guidelines and laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What is California’s Assembly Bill 434 (AB 434)?

AB 434 is California’s Web Accessibility Law, ensuring that state-operated websites and web applications are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Signed into law in 2017 and effective from July 1, 2019, it aligns with federal ADA and Section 508 requirements, mandating that state agencies and entities meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

Who needs to comply with AB 434?

The law applies to California state agencies and entities, including departments under direct authority of the Governor like the Transportation Agency, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and others listed in California’s Code, subdivision (e) of Section 11546.1. Both terms have specific definitions within the context of this legislation.

What are the requirements of AB 434?

State agencies and entities must ensure their websites comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards. Directors are required to certify compliance every two years, posting this certification on their websites. The law emphasizes adherence to web accessibility guidelines without outlining penalties for non-compliance.

Does AB 434 only affect California?

While AB 434 is a state-level law affecting California state websites, its impact is broader, serving as a precedent for other states, such as Colorado, which has introduced its own web accessibility law with clear guidelines and penalties for non-compliance.

How can Clym help with website accessibility?

Clym provides a comprehensive tool for achieving data privacy and web accessibility compliance, aligning with WCAG 2.1 standards. The platform simplifies compliance management, improving website traffic and mitigating the risk of legal challenges related to accessibility. Clym offers demos and tailored discussions to meet your business’s specific needs in making your website more accessible.