STATE HOUSE – Sen. Linda Ujifusa and Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson have introduced legislation to make the state’s publicly available websites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The goal, advocates say, is to ensure individuals with visual impairments can access the information presented on state websites.
“This bill will ensure our neighbors with visual impairments can access the same information as everyone else,” said Senator Ujifusa (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol).
The bill (2023 H-5106, 2023 S-0105) would require all newly established publicly accessible websites to meet web access accessibility guidelines in compliance with the ADA. State officials would have until January 1, 2028 to ensure existing websites comply with the guidelines.
“Passage and implementation of this legislation would allow Rhode Islanders who are blind, or who have other disabilities which require reliance on a screen reader to access the internet, to have the same access to state government websites which the rest of us take for granted,” said Bob Marshall, Policy Consultant for the RI Developmental Disabilities Council.
“This is long overdue,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick). “Our goal should be to make state government accessible to all Rhode Islanders. This is an important step in that direction.”