ADA compliance tipsIn recent months, several school districts in New York State have been contacted by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) regarding website compliance violations of section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  While OCR has not been specific regarding the details of the violations, the CNYRIC's e-Communications team has uncovered the following as the most significant culprits:
  1. The use of Adobe Flash
  2. Failure to use the Alt Text fields for images
  3. The overuse of graphics containing text
  4. Failure to use closed captioning for videos
In general, most section 508 violations relate to the use of text, images, and videos and the ways in which they are able to be comprehended by people with visual or hearing impairments, or discerned by assistive technology software such as screen readers. 

The CNYRIC's e-Communications team has been proactively informing the districts that participate in their website service about these concerns over the past several months.  

"Two team members have attended a website compliance seminar to better understand the underlying issues, and we have created an Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Compliance Tip Sheet on our website that districts can use as a guide," said Assistant Director Rick Pollard.

The CNYRIC also supports a third party website analytics tool called SiteImprove. Among other functions, the application can be used to identify ADA violations that exist within district websites.  

For additional information or assistance, please contact Pollard at 315-433-2652 or rpollard@cnyric.org.
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