Policy & Standards

Policies, standards and guidelines related to web accessibility can be found below. 

MSU Policy


The university strives to ensure that web content is accessible to all members of the university community and, where appropriate, to the public generally. This includes individuals with disabilities. The following policy establishes minimum standards of accessibility for web pages and other online content.

View MSU Policy 01.13


The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is and has been the lead on emerging internet recommendations and guidelines. The W3C works closely with organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), but it do not publish Standards, nor do their recommendations and guidelines read as standards.

In the field of Web accessibility, the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative has been active since the late 1990;s.  WAI, in coordination with organizations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.  In December of 2008, the WAI published their second Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (or WCAG 2.0) which provides a detailed suite of documents that cover PrinciplesRequirements & Guidelines and Techniques.  This was a major revision to WCAG 1.0, whose technical checkpoints rendered it out-of-date as technology changed.  In October of 2012, ISO adopted WCAG 2.0 as one of its standards: ISO/IEC 40500:2012.

Additional WCAG 2.1 recommendations were published in June of 2018 by the W3C.  WCAG 2.1 expands accessibility guidelines of mobile, low vision, and cognitive and learning provisions, and is backwards compatible with WCAG 2.0.

Mississippi State University's goal is to meet AA Conformance to WCAG 2.0.


Section 508

The U.S. Access Board, a federal agency which promotes equality for people with disabilities, refreshed its requirements for Section 508 Standards in January 2017.  This is a set of standards which apply to electronic and information technology (ICT) for the federal government, and it has been harmonized with WCAG 2.0 AA.  While the European Commission's EN 301 549 standard adopted WCAG 2.0 AA verbatim, the Section 508 standard allows minor exceptions.

Section 508 legislation ensures that web content funded by or through public tax dollars must meet the same requirements.  This regulation applies to all levels of governance from federal to municipal, and often to publicly funded projects developed by institutions and agencies.

Visit Section 508