As the World Wide Web has assumed an increasingly important role in providing government information and services, the need to extend these resources to the portion of the population with disabilities has become readily apparent. In 1998, Congress amended Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require federal government agencies and departments to ensure that their Web sites (as well as other electronic and information technology) are accessible and usable by federal employees with disabilities. Although Section 508 applies explicitly only to federal government Web sites, there are implications for the states and private sector as well. Accessible e-government means that governmental forums and services otherwise beyond the reach of disabled individuals are now easily within their grasp. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the level of accessibility of selected state of Alabama government Web sites. While the results of this study indicate considerable improvement over earlier research, the level of accessibility remains low. The pressure to comply with accessibility standards can only be expected to increase in the future, but legislation on the state level may prove unnecessary. The adoption of standards at the federal level is generating significant momentum for both the public and private sectors. While accessibility may never reach 100%, the potential for improvement remains significant. © 2003 Elsevier Inc.
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