SPRINGFIELD – To ensure that all students are able to access online web services for school, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) passed a measure that will require school boards to comply with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when contracting with third-party online learning vendors.

“Nearly 18% of Illinois students are reported to have a disability, developmental delay, or use an Individualized Education Plan,” said Pacione-Zayas, who served on the Senate Education committee. “The accessibility guidelines will help districts provide all students, especially ones with diverse needs, the accommodations they need with accessing educational materials online.”

The W3C guidelines are the global standard for determining website accessibility encompassing all disabilities, including auditory, cognitive, physical, and speech accommodations. Currently, most school districts and companies that provide online educational platforms already use these guidelines.

By requiring school districts to use these guidelines with third party providers, more schools can become ADA-compliant and equitably serve all students.

"No student should have to struggle to learn because the materials they are provided are inaccessible," said Rep. Theresa Mah, who introduced the legislation in the House. "Students should not be left behind because of a disability, and this legislation will ensure that all students are able to have the education they deserve."

House Bill 26 was signed into law on Friday. It goes into effect August 1, 2022. The signing of HB 26 coincides with the week of the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Category: News

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