Friday, April 12, 2013

US Justice Department May Revise Web Accessibility Rules

The US’ Department of Justice is set to revise accessibility guidelines that could broaden the degree to which they apply to online shopping websites
Internet, web © Peshkova Shutterstock 2012
"As vendors such as Adobe look to make websites and documents like PDFs accessible for people with disabilities, the tech industry and disabled users await more clarity on accessibility laws.
The US Justice Department may update the 1990 American With Disabilities Act (ADA) to outline how state and local government websites can make “services, programs, or activities” accessible to people with disabilities, according to DOJ guidance at A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is scheduled for July 2013.
In December 2013, the DOJ may also address accessibility of public websites. These laws could broaden the degree to which the ADA applies to online shopping websites, according to Andrew Kirkpatrick, Adobe’s group product manager for accessibility and newly named co-chair of the web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG), an organisation that aims for international standards on accessibility for the disabled.
“The Department of Justice has indicated they will be releasing rules that will apply the Americans With Disabilities Act to the public commercial web,” Kirkpatrick told eWEEK.
The DOJ plans to “propose the scope of the obligation to provide accessibility when persons with disabilities attempt to access websites of public accommodations, as well as propose the technical standards necessary to comply with the ADA,” the DOJ agenda at stated. Requiring online shopping sites to be accessible could bring benefits to the economy, according to the DOJ guidance...."

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