Draft Summary of Discussion

By the Regulation Room team based on what people have said

Websites: Implementation when?

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The commenting period for the proposed rule has ended. You can view the final summary.

§1. What’s going on here?

This is a summary of discussion on the “Websites: Implementation When” post between September 29, 2011 and January 3, 2012. (On that date, the post was closed to further discussion.) This summary was written by the Regulation Room team based on all the comments people made. This version is a DRAFT. We need YOUR help to make sure that nothing is missing, wrong, or unclear.

Important dates:

January 3-8: Comments can be made here on the draft
January 9: Final Summary of Discussion is posted on Regulation Room and submitted to DOT as a formal comment in the official rulemaking record. (January 9 is the last day of the official commenting period.)

Things to keep in mind as you read through the draft summary and make comments:

The goal here is to give DOT the best possible picture of all the different views, concerns, and ideas that came out during the discussion. This is NOT the place to reargue your position or criticize a different one. Focus on whether anything is missing or unclear, not whether you agree or disagree.

Rulemaking is not a vote. DOT is not allowed to decide what to do based on majority rule. (Why? See Effective Commenting) Approximate numbers are provided in the summary to give DOT a sense of the frequency of views, concerns, and ideas.

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§2. Who participated?

Two people commented on the proposed timeline for website accessibility; each made one comment. Moderators responded twice.

One commenter self-identified as a site designer or programmer. The other self-identified as a traveler with visual and mobility impairments who uses a cane and needs assistance with reading information on computers.

§3. General summary

One commenter, who self-identified as a site designer or programmer/usability expert, responded to the proposal that completely new sites that come online 6 months after the regulations become effective” pointed out: “ That is often a year or more after they are approved. That seems long enough.” This commenter was concerned that it could end up taking five to seven years to achieve full compliance, and argued that there is no excuse for more delay: “Making a web site accessible is old technology. WCAG 2.0 was completed in 2006 or 2007. The Section 508 refresh advisory committee finished at about the same time. That’s already 5 years ago.”

The other commenter, who self-identified as a traveler with visual and mobility impairments, emphasized his/her frustration with having to call airlines to make reservations and being told that because someone has to assist him/her with the reservation, s/he cannot receive the same prices and options as travelers who can access the websites. This commenter supports the proposal that travelers with disabilities should have equal access to opportunities available on the Web without having to incur extra charges.

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