The Department of Justice (DOJ) is extending the public comment period on its proposed website accessibility regulation for state and local governments to Oct. 7.
Under the new proposal, DOJ plans to revise Americans with Disabilities Act regulations to require state and local government websites to adhere to enhanced accessibility requirements such as coding websites to allow for the use of screen readers and providing captioning for video content.
NACo’s analysis of the proposed rule identified several stumbling blocks, according to Deborah Cox, legislative affairs director and Jake Terrell, associate legislative director:
- DOJ has not obtained sufficient feedback from local governments to understand the fiscal impact of increased accessibility requirements on local government websites.
- DOJ is drafting a one-size-fits-all rule without taking into account the varying levels of resources available to counties of different sizes to implement new website requirements, and
- DOJ may draft a rule that could run counter to the rule’s objectives by creating an undue burden for counties, especially smaller ones that provide information and services online.
“NACo’s goal in this effort is to ensure that county feedback is at the forefront of DOJ’s rulemaking on state and local government website accessibility and that counties have the time necessary to analyze the implications of the potential changes to the requirements for their websites,” Cox said.
NACo encourages counties to send comments to DOJ responding to the questions in the rulemaking notice before the Oct.7 deadline. For added convenience, a sample comment letter can be found here..
Read the 2014 County News article on the proposed rule here.