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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) radically changed how governments design buildings. The next wave of ADA compliance is going to revolutionize how governments design web sites.

Nearly one in five Americans has a disability, according to the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Not all disabilities affect access to information technologies such as the web, but many do. Regardless, few web sites are being built with the disabled in mind. A recent study by Civic Resource Group examining county web sites in California found only six percent passed the most basic accessibility standard set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (Full report available at:
http://www.civicresource.com/reports.html)

As the federal government considers revising the ADA and other federal laws to include the Internet, local, state, and federal web sites will need to address ADA compliance.

Expert Interview

David Capozzi, Director of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board, discusses the current state of accessibility regulations for federal web sites, and implications for state and local government. http://www.civicresource.com/briefs/briefs_accessibility.html

Related Links

Useful Resources

  • Bobby is a web based tool that analyzes web pages for their accessibility to people with disabilities. http://www.cast.org/bobby/
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires access to the Federal government's electronic and information technology. http://section508.gov/
  • The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessible design for people with disabilities. http://www.access-board.gov
  • The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies to lead the web to its full potential. http://www.w3c.org
  • Civic Resource Group provides internet solutions to the civic sector. http://www.civicresource.com

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