User login

Section 508 And The Web

In response to an inquiry regarding Section 508 compliance and Washington State...

I don't believe it's a matter of how long. And I don't believe it's up to the state, as it is already a federal law. It's just not being enforced. There is not agency testing or enforcing these laws (the Department Of Education enforces laws pertaining to schools). I believe it's a matter of avoiding a lawsuit.

Section 508 and section 504 are sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. This applies not only to public visitors, but to employees as well.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2006 Fox News reported that Target is the target of a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of the Blind. The lawsuit says Target's website is inaccessible to blind internet users. Target claimed it wasn't subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which requires retailers and other public places to make accommodations for people with disabilities. The ADA does have provisions for public services and services of the state.

The fox news article states, and I agree, that this case against target will set an important precedent for applying federal accessibility law to the internet, not just entities receiving federal monies.

Section 504 References:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/index.html

Section 508 References:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/assisttesting.html
http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=3

Target Lawsuit Reference:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,224617,00.html

ADA Reference:
http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/statutes/ofccp/ada.htm