October 2000

Website moves toward greater accessibility

By Karen Campbell

The Department of Correction and other state agencies are working to comply with requirements to make their web sites accessible to persons with disabilities.

The regulatory body that oversees technology matters for state government, the Information Resource Management Commission (IRMC), has published timeframes by which state government must make its web sites accessible. Before January 1, 2001 agencies must be able to demonstrate that they are working to enhance accessibility and by December 31, 2001, all state government sites must be accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes accessibility by persons who use page readers to assist with visual disabilities or those with mobility impairments using a head mouse.

In the case of DOC web pages, draft pages are checked manually and by using automated tools designed to detect accessibility impairments, and run through text readers. "On December 7, we will de-activate pages published on our web server if no progress can be demonstrated in removing accessibility barriers. DOC is committed to making sure that its sites become accessible to everyone regardless of their abilities or impairments " said Lavern Dunn, an MIS staff member involved in this effort.

For information or assistance with web accessibility questions, contact Dunn at 716-3500 or via e-mail.

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