While your school or district website might be an afterthought as you prepare for a new school year, now is a good time to check with your website vendor to see if their product allows you to meet requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently reached settlements in seven states to ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities, and it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down. The mission of the OCR is to provide equal access to education and promote educational excellence through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. OCR is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination by educational institutions on the bases of disability, race, color, national origin, sex and age.
Gaggle School & District Websites are designed to be compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Content generated by our content management system meets these accessibility standards, while all content created by website editors is capable of being compliant.
Remember, just because a provider assures you that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities, your job as a school or district leader isn’t over. For instance, website editors must remember to add “alt tags” to images and choose the proper text colors to assure the website meets these accessibility standards and can interact with assistive technology such as screen readers.
Also, Gaggle School & District Websites offer additional features to address other disabilities beyond the visually- or hearing-impaired, deaf or blind. For instance, an accessibility control panel allows you to put your website in high-contrast mode and change to the OpenDyslexic font without making changes to system settings. High contrast capabilities are useful for those customers with visual impairments, and the OpenDyslexic font has been shown to make websites easier to read for users with dyslexia.
We’re committed to helping schools and districts meet the needs of all of their website visitors. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding these efforts to include a compliance monitoring utility that tracks the number of compliance errors on your website and even notifies you whenever there’s a problem.
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