ADA Requirements|May Hit Internet Sites

     WASHINGTON (CN) – On the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it is considering requiring Internet retailers, movie theaters and others to accommodate people with disabilities.

     Contemplated regulations may require movie theaters to include closed captioning or video description for patrons who are hard of hearing or visually impaired. “Public accommodations,” such as hotels, retail stores, travel services and schools, that use the Internet also may have to make their Web sites accessible to those with disabilities, according to a department notice.
     State and local government services, programs or activities offered via the Internet may need to be adapted for those with hearing and visual impairments, and equipment and furniture used in programs and services provided to the public may have to be made accessible to individuals with disabilities as well, the department announced.
     Finally, public entities that operate 9-1-1 call-taking centers may be required to change their technology to accommodate Internet and wireless text devices, along with older analog systems, the notice concluded.
     In other ADA news, the U.S. Attorney General signed the ADA Standards for Accessible Design July 23, which require government, public and commercial establishments to have accommodations for people with disabilities, according to the Department of Justice Web site.
     Also, to mark the 20th anniversary of the ADA signing, Rep. Jim Langevin, the first quadriplegic person to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, presided over the House for the first time, according to the Time Newsfeed Web site. He used a unique mechanical device to do this, thirty years after a shooting accident left him paralyzed from the chest, down, and ten years after being elected, the Associated Press reported. Langevin hopes that moments like this will inspire others to conquer the same roadblocks, reported the Time Web site.

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