There is much legislation with regard to the operations of the Disability Programs and Services; it is heavily regulated, protected by confidentiality, governed by and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Lanterman Act (1977), Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended in 1998), California Assembly Bill 422, and Title 5, California Code of Regulations.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which took effect July 26, 1992, prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Sec. 504.(a) No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.
Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act was enacted in 1977. It states that "persons with developmental disabilities have the same legal rights and responsibilities guaranteed all other individuals by the Federal Constitution and laws and the constitution and laws of the State of California. No otherwise qualified person by reason of having a developmental disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives public funds" (Section 4502 of the Welfare and Institutions Code). Since these rights are frequently denied and there is no effective method of implementation, a State Council on Developmental Disabilities was created (Welfare and Institutions Code 4520).
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended in 1998)
508 creates, binding, enforceable standards for electronic and technology accessibility that are to be incorporated into the Federal procurement regulations . Each Federal department/agency is required to revise their procurement policies and regulations to incorporate the 508 standards.
That Act defines "information technology" to include "any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information." It includes computer hardware, software, networks, and peripherals as well as many electronic and communications devices commonly used in offices.
Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure,
maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they must ensure
that it is accessible to people with disabilities, unless it would pose an “undue
burden” to do so. Federal employees and members of the public
who have disabilities must have access to and use of information and services
that is comparable to the access and use available to non-disabled Federal
employees and members of the public.
Federal agencies which provide information to the public or to their employees through Web sites must ensure that such sites are available to all persons with internet or intranet access, including persons with disabilities.
Designing an accessible Web site is not as difficult as most people believe. Often it is a matter of identifying graphics, elements, frames, etc. For example, HTML code already provides the "Alt Text" tag for graphics that some designers have not been using.
California Assembly Bill 422
This bill requires every individual, firm, partnership or corporation publishing or manufacturing printed instructional materials, as defined, for students attending the University of California, the California State University, or a California Community College to provide to the university, college, or particular campus of the university or college, for use by students at no additional cost and in a timely manner, any printed instructional material in unencrypted electronic form upon the receipt of a written request, provided that the university or college complies with certain conditions.
Title 5, California Code of Regulations "... no person in the State of California shall, on the basis of ethnic group identification, national origin, religion, age, sex, race, color, ancestry, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability, be unlawfully denied full and equal access to the benefits of, or be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that is administered by, funded directly by, or that receives any financial assistance from, the Chancellor or Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges." (Title 5, California Code of Regulations, section 59300.)