ADA COMPLIANCE IN CITY GOVERNMENT WEBSITES
Cities in Florida need to make sure their websites comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. After a Daytona Beach man filed an accessibility lawsuit against Flagler County and won, all counties in Florida need to take action to make sure that not only their government buildings are accessible but also their websites according to Government Technology.
30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, lawsuits are on the rise and government websites need to ensure that their websites are just as accessible as other services. People with visual or hearing impairments are also filing lawsuits claiming that their government websites violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because they cannot use these websites.
One visually impaired person in Daytona Beach filed a suit because the screen reader software wasn’t compatible with a portable document format, or PDF and much of the website’s content was in PDF format. These lawsuits are becoming more frequent and city governments are paying out large settlement amounts.
There is much that can be done to make it easier for people with disabilities to access these websites.
Katherine Kyp, Planning coordinator of the Deltona City Commission meeting said, “These new added features enhance the experience and increase compliance with ADA and Section 508 requirements: https://www.access-board.gov/the-board/laws/rehabilitation-act-of-1973#508.
Deltona has formed an ADA Committee and is looking for ways to make all of the city’s documents and media accessible by all people including offering closed captioning services.
Many cities in Florida are taking documents and streaming services down until they are able to come into compliance to avoid potential lawsuits.
The Center for the Visually Impaired recommends that website development follow the guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium: .https://www.w3.org/