Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act
The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) became law on August 20, 2007, requiring Illinois agencies and universities to ensure that their web sites, systems, and other information technologies are accessible to people with disabilities. While the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act already require the State to address accessibility in general, the IITAA requires the State to establish, maintain, and comply with specific technical standards for accessibility. The IITAA also encourages the State to address accessibility in a manner that is proactive and cost-effective.
The full text of the Act can be found at:
- Illinois General Assembly Public Act 095-0307 (http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0307)
and the technical standards can be found at:
- DHS: Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (http://www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa)
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does the IITAA Require?
The IITAA requires that all information technology developed, purchased, or provided by the State of Illinois comply as much as is possible with the applicable sections of the IITAA Technical Standards. In most cases, these standards are nearly identical to Federal Section 508 Standards; for web-based information and systems, the standards are a hybrid of Section 508 Standards and World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, much like the Illinois Web Accessibility Standards, which they replace.
What Technologies Does It Cover?
Similar to Section 508, the IITAA defines "information technology" to include:
- software applications and operating systems
- web- and intranet-based information and applications
- telecommunications products
- video and multimedia products
- kiosks, information transaction machines, copiers, printers and other self contained, closed products
- desktop and portable computers
To Whom Does It Apply?
The IITAA applies to all State of Illinois entities, including:
- executive, legislative, and judicial branches
- agencies, departments, divisions, etc.
- constitutional offices
- public universities
It does not apply to local governments, school districts, community colleges, or private organizations.
When Does It Go into Effect?
The law was effective when it was signed on August 20, 2007, but the State had six months to develop the technical standards, which were completed and posted on February 20, 2008. State entities have until August 20, 2008 to complete the process of incorporating the standards into their procurement and development procedures.
Does It Apply to Existing Systems?
The IITAA's requirements apply to all information technology purchased, developed, or substantially modified by the State after the standards go into effect. The IITAA does not require the State to make previously existing systems accessible unless those systems are substantially modified. (See the IITAA Standards for the definition of "substantially modified.")
Who Can I Contact for Information or Assistance?
- Illinois Department of Human Services (http://www.dhs.state.il.us) - The IITAA directed DHS to take the lead in developing the accessibility standards. Official information and resources can be found at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa.
- Illinois Assistive Technology Program (http://www.iltech.org) - IATP is a not-for-profit organization that provides information and assistance regarding assistive technologies and accessibility, including a demonstration center and loan program.
- Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility (http://cita.uiuc.edu) - CITA, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides a wealth of information regarding accessibility, including the Web Accessibility Best Practices and Functional Accessibility Evaluator.
- MSF&W Information Technology Solutions (http://www.msfw.com) - MSF&W is an information technology consulting company that provides information, services, and training regarding information accessibility; MSF&W helped the State develop the Illinois Web Accessibility Standards in 2002 and provided technical assistance in the implementation of the IITAA.