What's the law?
In 1998, Congress amended the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 with Section 508, which requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) published Web accessibility standards for compliance with Section 508 on Dec. 21, 2000. The enforcement date of the standards was June 21, 2001. Anyone with a disability who does not have "comparable access to and use of information and data" on a federal agency website may file a complaint or civil action against the federal department or agency that has not complied.
Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that institutions receiving federal funds provide equal access to their programs. Many state-funded public universities receive Assistive Technology grants, which the Department of Education claims makes them accountable to the web accessibility standards set forth in Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Already lawsuits have been filed against various non-federal agencies using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a 1996 statement, the Department of Justice stated that the ADA will cover government entities on the Internet as well as those providers whose services are deemed to be "public accommodations."