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21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act

The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) requires an executive agency that creates or redesigns a website or digital service (web-based forms and web-based applications) intended for use by the public to ensure that the website or digital service: 

  1. is accessible to individuals with disabilities in accordance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
  2. has a consistent appearance,
  3. does not duplicate or overlap any legacy websites,  
  4. contains a search function that allows users to easily search content intended for public use,
  5. is provided through an industry standard secure connection,
  6. is designed around user needs using qualitative and quantitative data-driven analysis that drives management and development decisions as well as validates user goals, needs, and behaviors,
  7. provides web-based forms, web-based applications, or digital services to ensure that user needs are addressed and digital transactions are more efficient and accurate, and 
  8. is fully functional and usable on common mobile devices.

Web managers are also required to review, consolidate, and eliminate content and websites as necessary, and ensure that all sites are in compliance with the Checklist of Requirements for Federal Websites and Digital Services of the General Services Administration.

The Act also requires that in-person services, forms, and paper-based services be, to the greatest extent practicable, available in a digital format.

DOT and the 21st Century IDEA Act

In alignment with the guiding principles of the US Web Design System, the modernization of DOT's agency websites enables the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to ensure that new and redesigned websites are built and maintained according to federal guidance and industry best practices. 

DOT is committed to providing the public with an improved digital experience by adhering to principles of the 21st Century IDEA Act: accessibility, security, and usability on a modern and reliable platform. By leveraging industry best practices and federal, shared service tools we ensure our websites and digital services are: 

  • accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • consolidated, modernized and streamlined into our enterprise, content management system built with standardized templates and a consistent design look and feel.
  • searchable, by leveraging the Search.gov shared service of the General Services Administration Technology Transformation Service.
  • served through an industry standard secure connection as federally mandated in M-15-13 calling for “all publicly accessible Federal websites and web services” to only provide service through a secure connection (HTTPS), and to use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to ensure this. 
  • based around user needs and tasks, by leveraging the GSA Digital Analytics Program (DAP) web analytics tool and applying user-experience techniques to gather quantitative and qualitative information about our users and their needs.
  • identified, where necessary and upon availability of funding, as candidates to be modernized from non-digital, paper-based, or in-person forms to online, mobile-friendly digitized formats.
  • mobile-friendly, using a responsive web design flexible architecture to render to all mobile and tablet devices, in adherence with the 2018 Connected Government Act

Our Goals and Next Steps for New Websites and Digital Services

  • Prioritization of the next phase of web consolidation and modernization as part of the DestinationsDIGITAL initiative
  • Prioritization of the next phase of modernization of non-digital, paper-based, or in-person forms
  • Determination and application of internal quality standards for DOT websites
  • Ensure proper funding is made available to support the implementation of the Act
  • Continually examine the DOT digital service delivery strategy and submit recommendations to Operating Administration CIOs.
Last updated: Friday, February 28, 2020