A pair of advocacy groups for people with disabilities, the Westchester Council of the Blind and Disability Rights Advocates, have announced that Westchester County will make its website fully accessible to blind and low-vision users by the end of the year.
County governments are required by federal law to ensure their websites applications are compatible with screen readers and accessible to the visually impaired. The council noted that its members had complained about accessibility problems when using the county government’s website, ranging from reading online and PDF text and making ParaTransit reservations.
“People with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to use all the programs and services available in this great county of ours, including the websites,” said Maria Samuels, president of WCBNY. “We are delighted to find that the county executive’s office agrees with us.”
“Website accessibility guidelines and disability laws exist to ensure that people with vision disabilities have the same access to information and services as sighted people,” said Stuart Seaborn, Disability Rights Advocates’ managing director of litigation, adding that he hoped that “other public entities will follow suit as websites increasingly become go-to resources for critical public information.”