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Texas Web Accessibility Guidelines Legislation

From: Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 08:17:59 -0800
Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.20000216081759.0086c4d0@mail.teleport.com>
To: kford@teleport.com
>Date:         Wed, 16 Feb 2000 09:58:25 -0600
>From: David Sweeney <David@STULIFE2.TAMU.EDU>
>Subject:      Texas Web Accessibility Guidelines Legislation

>Summary of Proposed Administrative Requirements for Texas Institutional
>Websites
>What?
>On November 12th, proposed rules for the planning and management of state
>websites where published in the Texas Register under 201.12 of the Texas
>Administrative Code.  See the original proposed rules at
><http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/November121999/PROPOSED/administr
>ation.html#60> .  These proposed rules would affect the way in which
>existing and future online information resources must be designed.
>
>Due to overwhelming response from numerous state agencies, a revised draft
>of the proposed rules was released on February 10, 2000.  See the revision
>at <http://www.state.tx.us/Standards/S201-12.htm> .
>
>The Department of Information Resources (DIR) for the state of Texas
>originally authored the proposed requirements.  In summary the proposed
>rules (in their present state) would require:
>
>*       Use of ALT tags on all graphics
>*       Elimination of Priority 1 and 2 Web Content Accessibility errors
>(<http://www.cast.org/bobby/> )
>*       Parallel HTML versions of all "document image files" (such as PDF)
>*       Privacy statements included when information is requested from the
>user
>*       Inclusion of metatags on all web pages including: title, content,
>key words, author and TRAIL (Texas Records And Information Locator)
>*       Footer to include links to: contact information, open records
>policy, TRAIL, state of Texas homepage, and state of  Texas Search
>When?
>The rules would require implementation by July 1, 2000.
>How?
>The DIR Board approves the DIR rules that appear in the Texas Administrative
>Code.  DIR does not actively police agencies for compliance with its rules,
>but other agencies, including the LBB and the State Auditor, occasionally
>review agencies' compliance in the context of other reviews they may be
>conducting.
>Who?
>These rules would apply to all state institutions, which provide information
>on the Internet.
>Why?
>These proposed rules are the result of an increasing number of Office of
>Civil Rights cases involving consumer (student) complaints against state
>agencies for not providing public information in a manner which is
>accessible to people with disabilities.  Access is generally interpreted as
>required under both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the
>Rehabilitation Act of 1973 under the "effective communication" clause.
>David's Take on Things:
>C.J. Brandt, General Counsel for DIR (further information, please call:
>(512) 475-2153) confirmed that these proposed rules have received more
>comments than any other proposed section in recent history.  The reason is
>obvious - the rules in their present form would be difficult, if not
>impossible, to implement and require technologies that are not widely
>accepted yet (e.g. P3P).  Additionally, federal guidelines that would apply
>to state institutions may be published in the foreseeable future, and will
>almost certainly require changes to the Texas rules.  Because the content of
>the rules is still in doubt, viewing accessible design in moderation, until
>such time that the requirements are approved, is the best course of action.
>WCAG Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints are a good starting point
>(<http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/> ).
>
>
>David Sweeney
>Texas A&M University
>david@stulife2.tamu.edu
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2000 11:17:06 GMT

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