Educational institutions at all levels are facing escalating scrutiny by the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR). In recent years, OCR has increased the number of complaint letters it has been sending to school districts and academic institutions across the country regarding gaps in online accessibility.
School districts should take the increased number of complaints as a sign that the OCR is increasingly committed to enforcing the requirements of website accessibility for educational institutions, as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
For schools and districts, it seems to no longer be a question of “if,” it’s more a question of “when” the institution will be investigated. One of the largest challenges is knowing where to start and coming up with an affordable and effective plan that incorporates all digital information and training for the appropriate personnel.
To help schools deal with these additional regulations, and to improve the overall accessibility to educational markets for impaired individuals, the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) is providing in-kind donations of $100,000 in detailed electronic scans of their website (more comprehensive than the free scans offered on the website) and consultation to interpret results and help formulate a remediation strategy to qualified educational institutions.
“Making the web more inclusive for everyone begins by keeping accessibility in mind,” said Mark Shapiro, President of BoIA. “Organizations are increasingly being pressured to comply with ADA regulations. Achieving and maintaining compliance isn’t just an altruistic endeavor, it’s the law.” Shapiro continued, “We’re optimistic that by donating free automated assessments and consulting to help educational institutions that they will be able to get in front of the OCR and make their websites more accessible to those in the community living with disabilities.”
This offer is open to all school district in the United States. Visit the link below to request assistance for your school district: https://www.boia.org/free-website-accessibility-assessment-for-schools-and-school-districts
About the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA): Mobile and web accessibility compliance is a legal requirement, but trying to understand the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and how they relate to ADA, ACAA, OCR, AODA, Section 508 and other compliance requirements can be confusing. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) has been helping eliminate the accessibility digital divide since 2001. The organization’s reports, tools, and services have assisted businesses in improving, maintaining, and proving the accessibility of their websites. With services that include self-help tools, audits, training, and remediation and implementation support, BoIA has the experience and expertise to ensure that accessibility efforts are worthwhile and successful. For more information, visit www.BoIA.org.