Accessibility Guidelines

An interim settlement agreement between the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and private plaintiffs and the state of Texas, will enable Texans with intellectual and other developmental disabilities live in community settings rather than nursing facilities.

The litigation alleges that Texas has not complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and other federal statutes in ways leading to the needless institutionalization of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in nursing facilities. More on Texas settling the disabilities lawsuit.

“Be more like us,” says Secretary of State John Kerry describing the message delivered by The Disabilities Treaty. The Treaty is intended to open the world to Americans with disabilities. Ratification will help provided Americans with the same protection globally that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides them on US soil. Moreover, it will enable Americans with disabilities to participate fully in the global economy. Read more about the The Disabilities Treaty.

The original Section 508 standards were published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000 when most webpages were stagnant, written in HTML alone and did not have much dynamic content. Thirteen years later, websites are more important to a business than the sign out front and the lines between applications and websites have blurred. However, Section 508 standards remain unchanged.

In 2010 the Department of Justice announced that it would issue proposed regulations governing the accessibility of websites of public accommodations and state and local governments. This was slated to be announced in December of 2013. The DOJ has now pushed back the announcement for public accommodations by 3 months to March of 2014. The proposed rule for state and local governments was supposed to be announced this month but has been pushed to November 2013. Read more about the delay for the ADA.

July 26, 2013 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990 President George H. Bush signed the Act, giving civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. If you want to help celebrate, check out the ADA Anniversary website created by the Southeast ADA center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.

A student with a low vision disability sparked allegations that the University was in violation of the ADA. The student fell behind in coursework due to a lack of accessible course materials, prompting the student to dropout early in the quarter.

In a Justice Department announcement yesterday, it was said that a settlement was reached with Louisiana Tech University and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System to remedy the alleged violations to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The University agreed to implement several policies that require they deploy learning technology, web pages and course material that meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

Read more about Louisiana Tech University adopting WCAG 2.0 level AA standard in a settlement with the Feds.

Read the Department of Justice Press Release here.

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