Accessibility Legislation and Policies
View our Website's Accessibility Page for information pertaining to accessibility of this website and options available to you.
Governance regarding accessibility is multi-level, and CareerTech's Web Page Accessibility regulation is informed by many different facets of Federal and State law. Here is an overview of what has been established by the United States and the state of Oklahoma.
The purpose of this law is to provide effective communication and nondiscriminatory access to programs and services for people with a disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (PDF) establishes that:
- Disability rights are civil rights covered by 14th Amendment.
- Virtual spaces are public and commercial facilities and must comply with the laws governing accessibility.
- Educational programs that receive federal funds must comply with regulation.
- No otherwise qualified individual shall be excluded from participation or be subject to discrimination solely by reason of his or her disability.
- Students with a disability must be provided equally effective access to all programs, activities and services.
- Reasonable accommodations must be provided when programs and services cannot be made accessible.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)]
As the Internet became a ubiquitous space for communication, business transactions, services, education and learning as well as a vast repository of information, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended in 1998. It requires that all electronic and information technology (EIT) developed, purchased or used by federal agencies, organizations receiving federal funds (including higher education institutions) and those doing business with the government must be accessible for use by persons with disabilities.
This agency issues regulations that establish standards addressing the functionality and performance of IT resources, including:
- EIT resources must be compatible with assistive technology (AT).
- EIT resources must be readily usable by people with a disability, with or without the use of AT.
- Design of EIT resources should focus on their accessibility rather than on the AT used by an individual.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
This act reenforces and extends Section 504, requiring equitable access to public programs and services, regardless of whether or not the programs are federally funded. While the Rehabilitation Act focuses on institutions and agencies receiving federal funds, the ADA focuses on creating the most integrated setting possible . In particular, ADA:
- Extends the "non-exclusion" to all governmental and non-governmental entities.
- Requires equitable access to everything, including buildings, transportation, communication, education, workplace, devices and office equipment.
- Requires that when equal access cannot be provided, reasonable accommodation must be made available to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.
- Uses an institution's total budget as the measure of "reasonableness" in regard to the need to accommodate.
- Clarifies and reiterates who is covered by the law's civil rights protections.
- Revises the definition of "disability" to more broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life activity.
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 255
- Requires all telecommunications devices and services be made fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Regards all online services and activities as communication.
- Regards computers as telecommunication devices.
- Increases the standard from "Reasonable" to "Readily Achievable."
- Requires that accessibility be integrated into the earliest stages of design, development and procurement of IT resources.
- Concludes that an "ad hoc" or "as needed" approach to Web accessibility will result in barriers for persons with disabilities.
- Ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to emerging Internet protocol-based communication and video programming technologies in the 21st century.
- Calls for an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet.
Visit Oklahoma Accessibility Page - Information for general accessibility and details of Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) laws that apply to the state of Oklahoma.
This outlines the procedures by which the Oklahoma state agencies will meet its legal obligations to provide equitable access to Web content for people with disabilities.