U.S. looks to improve disabled access to internet

The Obama administration on July 23 offered a series of proposals aimed at enhancing access to web sites for people with disabilities, Reuters reports. Most of the proposals are aimed primarily at improved access for the deaf and the blind. With the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, the Justice Department issued four proposals for public comment aimed at finding ways to keep up with advancing technologies so people with disabilities are not left behind. “Just as these quantum leaps can help all of us, they can also set us back—if regulations are not updated or compliance codes become too confusing to implement,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. However, the proposals could draw criticism from the business community, which already has a rocky relationship with the Obama administration over issues including new regulations on the financial industry. One key proposal focused on improving access for people with disabilities to the web sites of state and local governments, as well as the sites of private businesses such as restaurants and hotels. Noting that the internet has evolved substantially since the 1990 law went into effect, the department asked for comment on what resources are available to help those with disabilities access existing web sites, as well as what the costs would be for making them accessible…

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