December 02, 2014

FYI: Web Accessibility

As much of the daily practice of law moves to web-based technologies, it is increasingly important that all members of the legal community -- lawyers and non-lawyers alike -- understand the need for websites that are accessible to all audiences. Efforts to ensure that websites are accessible to disabled persons, simply referred to as "web accessibility," allow people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. In doing so, they promote full and open access to the legal profession -- a longstanding ABA goal.
To help you better understand web accessibility and how it can be implemented by your firm or organization, we've collected the useful resources listed below.
Resources from the ABA

ABA LTRC Presentation: Web Accessibility
Prepared in October of 2007, this presentation provides a broad overview of web accessibility generally and as it pertains to the legal profession.

ABA Commission on Disability Rights
The ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law promotes the ABA's commitment to justice and the rule of law for persons with mental, physical, and sensory disabilities, and also promotes the full and equal participation in the legal profession.

Special Feature: ABA Resolution and Report on Website Accessibility [Contains ABA Resolution 108]
In addition to reproducing the full text of ABA Resolution 108 regarding web accessibility, this special report from the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law also discusses how you can make your website more accessible.

Guidelines/Initiatives for Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility Initiative
Run by the World Wide Web Consortium, the Web Accessibility Initiative provides strategies, guidelines, and resources to make the web accessible to people with disabilities.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 are currently the most widely accepted standards governing accessible web design. They were originally promulgated in 1999.

Web Content Accessibility Guide 2.0 (Final Working Draft)
Currently in final working draft form, the WCAG 2.0 is in line to replace WCAG 1.0 sometime in early 2008. WCAG 2.0 incorporates some elements of WCAG 1.0 and generally addresses new trends in technology.

Section 508: The Road to Accessibility
As part of a 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act, Congress required Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible. The Section 508 page provides a variety of resources for compliance -- many of which are helpful even to people outside of Federal agencies.

United States Access Board
The United States Access Board is a Federal agency committed to promoting accessible design. In addition to various standards (web related and not), the Access Board site provides publications, training, and more.

Resources on the Web

Web Accessibility in Mind
Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) is a joint initiative by Utah State University and the Center for Persons with Disabilities. They offer a collection of products, services, and resources to help promote accessibility.

Microsoft Accessibility
Microsoft's accessibility page provides information on utilizing the accessibility features already incorporated into Microsoft products.

Apple Accessibility
Apple accessibility breaks down the accessibility features built into Apple software, including the spoken interface for Mac OS X -- VoiceOver.

Assistive Technology

Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific is a developer of assistive and adaptive technology products including the JAWS screen reader, PAC Mate, MAGic Screen Magnifier, and more.

GW Micro
GW Micro develops adaptive technology solutions such as Window-Eyes screen reader, Braille Sense notetaker, SyncBraille, and more.

Attorney Communities

National Association of Blind Lawyers
The National Association of Blind Lawyers is a division of the National Federation of the Blind and hosts the BlindLaw listserv.

Deaf Attorney Community is a community of deaf attorneys and law students that share resources and discuss issues related to the practice of law.