Recently at a school lawyers’ conference, the topic of school website accessibility compliance was discussed. To be honest, I hadn’t had previous occasion to think about this. In case you haven’t either, you should be aware that the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extend to websites. This means that your school website must be accessible to disabled persons. What that looks like (along with links to other good information on the topic) is summarized here: Accessibility Guidelines.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has been targeting schools throughout the country for various forms of non-compliance. If an individual or advocacy organization reports a website issue with your school, you will receive a letter of inquiry and be subject to investigation. Resolving the matter will take not only your time, but will also cost you in the likely event you need legal and/or technical assistance. Thus, it’s important that you take steps now to ensure your district is compliant.
Good news—those of you using the OPSRC website offering are covered. Our IT Director, Ben Parker, tells me that the IT team frequently checks for compliance, both on what they develop and on content members provide.
If you have any questions about the legal side of this issue, please feel free to contact me. My cell number is 405.520.9680. For technical questions, I’d highly recommend you shoot those over to Ben.