Oh you have got to be kidding: more US #a11y drama

It shouldn’t even be possible to be shocked any more by the self-serving nonsense which characterises the progress, or lack thereof, of US accessibility laws.

But here’s some more.

In a masterclass of arse-covering double-speak that would make a bewigged courtroom barrister applaud with glee, the US Department of Justice has issued this statement regarding its plans to mandate the a11y of state and local government web sites.

What it basically says is “we’ve been talking about doing something, of some sort, for six years now; and we’ve dragged our feet so long that the internets have changed too much. So after six years of doing nothing, we’re going to crumple it all up in a ball and start again. High Five!”

So for those of you who have been waiting for decades for your state and local government web sites to offer adequate accessibility, fear not. You can sleep well tonight knowing that “Contemporaneously, the Department is issuing a Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM) titled Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities.”

There, now don’t you feel better already?

(For more drama, see my primer on the Section 508 debacle.)

About the author
Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.