U.S. Department of Justice Seeks Comments on the Accessibility of State and County Websites (ADA Title II)

US DOJ

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking for comments from people with disabilities who use State and county internet sites. The Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB) has been meeting with various groups to explain what the rules are and how to make comments. However, all members of the public are encouraged to submit their own comments. DCAB has even developed a form letter you can use to submit comments.

Some examples of state websites include the:
• Hawaii State Legislature to submit testimony or find out about a hearing;
• Office of Elections to look at a sample ballot;
• Governor’s Office to ask for a Governor’s Proclamation or bill signing ceremony;
• State Tax office to get a tax form;
• Hawaii Department of Emergency Management Agency website to find information about an upcoming storm or hurricane; or
• Library website to reserve a book.

Examples of county websites include the:
• City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management to find a shelter that is open;
• TheBus to find out which bus to catch; or
• City Clerk’s website to find out where the walk-in polling places are.

If you have tried to use a state or county website and have not been able to get the information you wanted, send a message to the DOJ. Include your name, type of disability you have, what kind of information you were trying to find, and what the barriers were that you faced when you were on the website. Your comments are due in Washington, D.C. by October 7, 2016. Submit through their website at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/29/2016-18003/nondiscrimination-on-the-basis-of-disability-accessibility-of-web-information-and-services-of-state – open-comment.

If you would like more information or a copy of the sample letter contact Debbie Jackson at (808) 586-8121 or via e-mail at debbra.jackson@doh.hawaii.gov.