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Update on ADA Requirements for the Internet

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 14:13:56 -0800
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'Multiple recipients on list'" <uaccess-1@trace.wisc.edu>
Message-id: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD88301E67BA2@SJ_EXCHANGE>
This past week I was a speaker on accessible web design at a statewide
California higher education conference (CAPED '98).  At one of the
workshops, General Counsel for the California Community Colleges
(approximately 160 colleges in system) released the Chancellor's October 28,
1998 letter re "Update on Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Review of Information
Access for Visually Impaired Students."

This letter is one of several responding to the Office of Civil Rights, US
Department of Education, findings concerning access to print and electronic
information.  You may recall my reference to the OCR statewide college
survey in my article entitled "Electronic Curbcuts:  How to Build an
Accessible Web Site" http://www.prodworks.com/ilf/w5bcw.htm

The October 28, 1998 update from the Chancellor includes references to a new
requirement that each college submit a plan for the use of technology
training funds that provides for staff training on adaptive technology and
information access.  The plan is to also include training for faculty and
staff on how to work with adaptive technology and how to make websites
accessible for persons with disabilities.

Funding has also been identified for faculty and staff on how to deal with
making technology and instructional materials accessible.  For example, in
1998-99, up to $9 million of funding is available for making libraries
accessible.  Other funding sources were also identified.

Lastly, the update states that "[L]anguage has been added to the standard
grant agreement provisions to assure that grantees comply with the alternate
media requirements of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Consistent with existing law, this provision now requires that
districts/colleges ensure that all print or electronic materials produced
with grant funds be made available in accessible formats to persons with
disabilities.  In addition, grantees will be required to ensure that
websites and computer-based instructional software and materials, as well as
telecommunications and instructional equipment, are accessible to students
with disabilities." [emphasis added]

The Chancellor's response to the OCR findings is consistent with the legal
discussion set forth in my article "Applying the ADA to the Internet:  A Web
Accessibility Standard" found at http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law/weblaw1.htm

I expect that the California higher education response will soon follow
nationwide.

Cynthia D. Waddell
---------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell   Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us
ADA Coordinator       City of San Jose, CA

801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, California 95110-1704
(408)277-4034
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
Received on Monday, 2 November 1998 17:19:28 GMT

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