About MDE

MDE Web Accessibility Policy:

At the Minnesota Department of Education, the right of all members of the public to access information is integral to our function as a government agency. Therefore, MDE is committed to making its website accessible to everyone to the greatest extent possible.

Some users with or without disabilities may not be able to see, hear or process some information in specific formats; may have difficulty reading or understanding text; or may not be able to use a keyboard or a mouse. MDE has designed its website to ensure that the site and its content are useful to and accessible by all users.

MDE is required by state and federal law to provide equal access to information maintained by the agency, by making the information available to individuals with disabilities in a format that allows them to access the information whenever possible. MDE also is required to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA and Section 508 Subpart B Electronic and Information Technology standards. MDE has developed its website in accordance with these standards. In addition, MDE has developed its website and web content to ensure compatibility with common adaptive and other technologies to enhance the usability of the website for all users.

Most of the information on MDE’s website is fully accessible and complies with these standards. If information on an MDE web page or document is not in an accessible format, MDE will provide the information in an alternative format upon request.

MDE will continue to review and update its website to ensure compliance with current and future standards. It is committed to providing strong digital government services and information to all users.

Applicable Laws and Standards:

Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minnesota Statutes § 363A.42

State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Minnesota Statutes §16E.03, subd. 9

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA

Section 508 Electronic and Information Technology Standards

Contact MDE:

If you have a problem accessing content on the MDE website, please notify MDE’s web accessibility contact, Data Practices Compliance Official Kathryn Olson, at kathryn.a.olson@state.mn.us or 651.582.8669 or Webmaster Kim Wee at kim.wee@state.mn.us or 651.582.8548. Please be prepared to let Kathryn or Kim know the nature of your accessibility need, the web address or general location on the MDE website of the requested information, and your contact information. They will work with you and with MDE staff members with the relevant accessibility technical expertise to resolve the concern or provide the information in an alternative format.

Links to External Publications and Websites:

The MDE website may contain links to non-MDE publications and web pages on external websites. MDE has no control over content or accessibility at these non-MDE publications and external websites. Links are provided as a service to our audience, in an effort to provide additional information where applicable. MDE is not responsible to make this external information accessible.

MDE Website Features:

The MDE website has incorporated features intended to make the experience of interacting with our Website positive and productive for all of our users. Some of the accessibility features incorporated into the MDE website include:

Common Look and Feel with a Simple Design. Most pages on the MDE website have a similar layout, making site navigation easier. Overall, the site is primarily text-based and has a simple, straightforward design.

Skip Navigation. The Skip Navigation feature allows users to go directly to the substantive content of the web page.

Accessible Images. Images that are included on the MDE website contain alternative text, which assistive technologies can read to the user to provide greater access to the information presented visually.

Adjustable Text Size. Text size can be increased with the web browser’s text size adjustment feature. For more information about text size adjustments within a specific browser type and version, site visitors should consult their browser documentation.

Tags. Consistent with the website standards that MDE adheres to, the MDE website uses correct HTML markup – known as tags – to designate web page elements. These tags automatically allow assistive technology users to differentiate features such as page headings and subheadings. With correct HTML markup, a site visitor using a screen reader will have the designation read to them, giving the user a better sense of how the information is organized and presented.

Style Sheets. Cascading style sheets are used throughout the site for layout, design and style. This allows the MDE site to be displayed in a readable fashion on different browser-enable devices.

Search Engine. The MDE website features a search engine that provides relevant and easy-to-use search results. The search engine allows quick navigation to desired content.

Use of Tables. The MDE website avoids the use of tables as a means of displaying information. However, when tables need to be used, they employ HTML markup to differentiate table headings from data and to associate data with the appropriate table headings.

Video Captions and Text Transcripts. All video files on the MDE website either include embedded captions or, closed captioning. For videos with embedded captioning, captions are open by default.

Document Formats. Most documents on the MDE site are posted in accessible Adobe® Acrobat® portable document format (pdf), which can be accessed by users via screen readers and other accessibility tools. To view pdf documents, users must have Adobe Acrobat Reader™ version 4.0 or higher. To download or get help using Acrobat Reader, which is available free of charge, users must visit the Adobe Systems website.