Existing federal Web sites likely to be grandfathered

Existing federal Web sites likely to be grandfathered

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

APRIL 19'Agencies whose existing Web sites don't comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements will likely be exempted from the June 21 deadline for compliance, escaping possible lawsuits from the disabled community, Justice Department attorneys said this week.

Speaking at a session held by the Federal IT Accessibility Initiative, they said an agency could not be sued for noncompliance, even if upgrades are not implemented.

Despite the grandfather-clause protection for existing sites, Justice attorney Ken Nakata said the division tackling Section 508 disability issues needs to call on strong enforcement to bring everyone into compliance.

Many managers are making compliance a more difficult task than it needs to be, he said.

'Managers are thinking ' that there is enforcement for every paragraph,' Nakata said. But Section 508 does not require a complete retrofit of every site not meeting the standards.

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