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US: New Illinois Law Increases Access to Online Learning for Students with Disabilities

September 03, 2021

A new in Illinois is designed to help ensure equitable access to learning for students with disabilities by making schools adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for digital education tools in K-12 schools.

The measure requires content available on any third-party online curriculum service used in all public and private K-12 schools to be WCAG 2.1 compliant and readily accessible to individuals with disabilities starting August 1, 2022.

“This legislation truly meets the moment when it comes to giving our students the most fulfilling education possible in an increasingly online world,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As online educational tools become further integrated into school curriculums, we need to be sure that these tools are properly addressing the needs of all the students and families they’re designed to serve. I am proud to mark another achievement as we pave the way for an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century.”

WCAG guidelines provide a single, shared standard for web content accessibility and explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities, through features like text-to-speech, captions for videos, text alternatives for non-text content, and color-blind alternatives. With the passage of HB 26, these accessibility features will now be standard for digital tools used to educate our children.

HB 26 is effective August 1, 2022.

Source: Fox Illinois

Related Information

Illinois Inclusive Education WCAG