At the Infrastructure Committee meeting in May, members and visitors discussed compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as it applies to websites.
According to the US census, 1 in 5 people identify as having a disability. Businesses and organizations whose websites not taking this into account are excluding customers.
The ADA requires that places of public accommodation be made accessible to people with disabilities. In this jurisdiction, websites providing goods and services are considered public accommodation and must be accessible. Broadly, a website is accessible when it can function with assistive technologies.
The is no precise legal definition of what constitutes compliance. The Department of Justice began a process of developing regulations but did not complete the process. There are regulations that apply to federally funded web-site and guidelines, known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The CCTC has worked with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to provide resources for business owners seeking to achieve compliance: https://cctechcouncil.org/is-your-website-ada-compliant/
At our last meeting we heard from Nate Mayo about the progress of Vineyard Wind. We have subsequently raised questions with Vineyard Wind to clarify the question of potential bird strikes. One committee member went to an offshore wind workforce development conference in New Bedford put on by MA Clean Energy Center and Siemens Gamesa, where the potential for bird strikes was addressed. The turbines are much larger than one might envision and avian studies are being conducted, including migration patterns.The committee is hoping to hear from Vineyard Wind so we are able to give correct and complete answers.
The Committee thanks Open Cape for hosting the Infrastructure Committee meeting each month. All are welcome to attend.