RampWEB, a web and software accessibility company

How do I Support Web Accessibility?

Accessible Web sites are important so what can you do if you find a web site that is challenging or inaccessible to users with disabilities or those who use assistive technology? Many Web designers are simply unaware of the challenges their sites can present to users. Some of them will be willing to make changes to accommodate users so be sure to start with the contacts on the web site. Explain the difficulties with examples and ask them to address the problems.

Unfortunately, many Web site administrators will not be able or willing to fix their accessibility issues. In these cases, your options depend on whether the site is a corporate or government based site.

Corporate

When a company does not fix their Web site to comply with federal or state law contact your federal, state, and/or local representatives. You can find postal and email address for your representatives by entering your zip code on the Congress Web site.

Government

Beginning June 21, 2001, the federal government can be held responsible for complying with the standards in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This requires that all federal information technology procured after June 21, 2001 be accessible to people with disabilities.

If you have an accessibility problem with a federal agency's information technology you can file a complaint within the agency. Each federal agencies is now supposed to have a person on-staff dedicated to addressing accessibility of their web sites and ensuring that they comply with the laws on accessibility. Look for the “508 coordinators” list on the General Services Administrations section 508 Web site, to find the contact person for federal agencies. You can also send them an email: 508@access-board.gov. To find out more about filing a Section 508 complaint, contact the Justice Department's Disability Rights Section.

Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAVE
Washington, D.C. 20530
(800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD)

Department of Justice
Section 508 information
E-mail: sec508.questions@usdoj.gov
(202) 305-8304
TTY: (202) 353-8944

State and local agencies may not have accessibility coordinators or 508 compliance officers. If appealing directly to the agency is not effective, contact your local representative. If you cannot find your representatives, you might try a search engine. For example, enter “find state representative texas.