Collectively, State and Federal regulations require equal access to resources and materials for students who are otherwise qualified to enroll in the course. Accessibility must be built into eLearning; the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) interpretation states that a University violates its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act when it responds only on an ad-hoc basis to individual requests for accommodation. Finally, this instruction must result in a course-taking experience that is similar to that of students without disabilities.
Applicable legislation includes:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which ensures that federally funded institutions such as Universities provide equal access to all services and programs, with or without accommodations
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, which requires electronic and information technology to be accessible to persons with disabilities
State of Kansas Law
Effective October 26, 2000, the State of Kansas Information Technology Executive Council released Information Technology Policy 1210 – State of Kansas Web Accessibility Requirements and on November 20, 2001 the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for the State of Kansas, Version 2.0. The State of Kansas guidelines are based in part on the work of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0). [Revision 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines] also encompasses the rules for Web-based intranet and Internet information and applications required of Federal departments and agencies (and others as applicable) by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d).