Federal Government Makes Changes Towards Digital Inclusion

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed over 30 years ago prohibiting discrimination towards people with disabilities. But, as our world becomes more centered around technology, new barriers arise.

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice has added new rules focusing specifically on the accessibility of web content and mobile apps.

The proposed regulations apply to state and local government website services which includes areas such as transportation, education, voter registration, healthcare and more.

A keyboard is shown with a wheelchair symbol, an ear with hearing aids and a person with a white can. All are surrounded by other keyboard keys.

Federal officials created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that such organizations must adhere to in order to enhance accessibility for all. This includes updating screen reader compatibility, speech recognition, video captioning and visual contrast. 

Did you know CPNRI’s website has the above features? Just click the blue person button in the lower left corner to activate an array of accessibility features. Contact us if you have any issues.

Although there are some exemptions for preexisting or archived content, government systems are being urged to prioritize this advancement. Compliance to these guidelines is set within two to three years after the rule’s publication. 

Maria Town, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, says, “This rule is a long-awaited recognition that to achieve equal participation in society, as promised by the Americans with Disabilities Act, we must address digital discrimination and inaccessibility.”

The goals of these regulations are to eliminate digital discrimination and ensure equal participation in society for people with disabilities. As the world becomes more reliant on technology, it is imperative that it remains accessible to all.

This article has information from the Disability Scoop and