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RE: Universities Legal Web Accessibility Update


From: Kelly Hokkanen
Date: Dec 9, 2003 9:10AM

Thanks for this information. Does any one have similar updates on the
applicability of federal law to state government websites?

Kelly Hokkanen
Director of Creative Services
InforME: Information Resource of Maine
(207)621-2600 x28

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Taylor-UsableNet [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 12:50 PM
Subject: Re: Universities Legal Web Accessibility Update

In order to follow up some postings with regard the legal position of
Universities with regard to Section 508 and Web Accessibility. I
approached Ken. S. Nakata of The US DOJ. In short, it seems that the
provision of Section 508 effecting Universities due to Tech Act funding
was wrong and we apologize for this. My short e-mail discussion with Ken
is below.


1. "If I am creating and maintaining web content for students and
faculty of a public university which Disabilities act would most likely
apply to my web content?"

504 (if federally-funded) and title II of the ADA.

2. "Does Section 508 of the Rehabilitations act apply to me in the above
scenario - if so when and why, and if not when and why?"

No. (when ask for clarity on this, the response was "508 doesn't apply.
The stuff from Cynthia is incorrect, because that was a former (and
unsupportable) position articulated by the Department of Education. We
had to get them to change that".)

3. What types of access to web content should a university consider to
satisfy their legal requirements under any laws you outline above?

First, it's probably essential to provide access to alternative sources
of information... e.g. a person answering email or the phone regarding
web page content. Doesn't necessarily have to be 24/7, but the delay in
response shouldn't be unreasonable (of course, that depends on what it
is that's required). As far as design standards, either 508 or WAI
would go a long way to meeting 504/ada obligations in most circumstances
(but not all as these standards do not aid all forms of disabilities).


Ken is referring to the below 508 statement on Cynthia's site being out

[12] Section 508 was originally added to the Rehabilitation Act in