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Special Education Tip – Accessibility of the School System’s Website – 29-2016

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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Accessibility of the School System’s Website

Today’s Tips is oriented towards the school system as a whole. Some of you have already been involved in difficult OCR investigations regarding the accessibility of your school system’s website to persons with vision impairments. This is both a 504 and Title II of the ADA compliance matter. You may think your website is accessible, but OCR will find you out of compliance unless the website meets certain criteria. There are standards governing accessibility and specific tools used to measure accessibility. The World Wide Web Consortium has published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which are followed by OCR, and which look to see if the website is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Under the Guidelines, these 4 words have specific meanings. Each school system should check to make sure the Guidelines are being followed. Work hand-in-hand with your IT Department and your counsel.
Make it your New Year’s Resolution to do it now before you open the letter from OCR seeking to investigate the accessibility of your website.

While no one has a crystal ball to foresee what changes will be made to OCR’s investigatory units under the new Presidential administration, it is probable that investigations into website accessibility will continue as Americans tend to want to do what is needed to help our citizens with vision impairments.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
Copyright © 2016 Pessin Katz Law, P.A. All rights reserved.
Tips may be reproduced for distribution within the educational institution, the individual school or school system and is for use by their staff. Additional distribution must be approved by author.
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