Thursday, July 29, 2010

Justice Department Weighs Putting Web Sites Under Disability Rules

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 28, 2010, 05:13 PM ET
By Marc Parry

The modern Internet did not exist when the Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990. Now the Justice Department is weighing changes to bring the landmark civil-rights law in line with the rise of the Web—a debate that could have implications for colleges.
The department this week announced that it is considering revising ADA regulations "to establish specific requirements for state and local governments and public accommodations to make their Web sites accessible to individuals with disabilities."
The announcement and call for public comment, preliminary as they are, drew celebration from WebAIM, an Internet-accessibility training and consulting nonprofit at Utah State University. Jonathan Whiting, the center's director of training and evaluation, described the move as "huge." Many colleges' digital materials are designed in a way that makes them difficult to use for people with disabilities, he says.

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