NEW ADA RULES MAY AFFECT CITY WEB SITES

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking formally announcing its intent to regulate government Web sites, 9-1-1 technology, and other equipment. The DOJ requested comments on this rulemaking on July 26, 2010, and is accepting comments until the end of December.

The DOJ believes that the ADA currently requires Web sites to comply with the ADA, and may propose rules for clarification. The rules would regulate cities and other governmental entities that provide goods, services, programs, or activities to the public online. The DOJ is considering one of two possible sets of guidelines for Web accessibility: (1) the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which are international standards developed by an independent agency; or (2) the federal government’s own Web guidelines.

The DOJ is also considering regulating 9-1-1 accessibility in order to ensure that individuals with disabilities will have direct access to 9-1-1 during an interim period until, and after, “Next Generation” 9-1-1 is implemented.

Any rules adopted regarding either Web sites or 9-1-1 accessibility could affect the way cities provides services. For more information on these possible rulemakings, click here.

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Texas Municipal League.

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