Web Accessibility Legislation in Minnesota
See how your website stacks up compared to web accessibility legislation in Minnesota.
An Overview of Legislation in Minnesota
Minnesota’s state accessibility standard came into effect in October 2013 and calls for ‘‘all impacted State information systems, tools and information content’’ to comply with WCAG 2.0 level AA and Section 508 web accessibility standards.
The current version became effective June 14, 2018, and applies to all software or digital products created, used, managed, or updated by Minnesota state executive branch agencies. Other state-run organizations are also encouraged to meet this standard.
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What You Need To Know About Web Accessibility in Minnesota
What is the Minnesota State Accessibility Standard?
The original version of the Minnesota web accessibility standard became effective in October 2013 and aimed to improve the accessibility and usability of information technology products and services for all government end-users in the State of Minnesota. The latest version became effective in June 2018 and incorporates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Are there any other requirements related to Minnesota’s Accessibility Laws?
State agencies/divisions that are aware of the procurement or creation of a product or service that is known to not be accessible must file an exception that formally acknowledges this. Once a notice of exception has been made, the Office of Accessibility will sign, and return, the exception to certify receipt, and file a copy.
Who do Minnesota’s accessibility standards apply to?
State of Minnesota Accessibility Standard - Requires all state information systems, tools and information content to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance and with selected provisions of Section 508.
MN Statues 363.43 - requires that any continuing education or professional development course, offering, material or activity administered by the state be made available in an accessible format to individuals with disabilities.
What are the penalties for non-conformance?
State agencies that fail to keep accessible records or other documents produced or modified after January 1, 2013, will face a penalty of $500 per violation plus reasonable attorney fees and costs.
The same penalty applies to any continuing education or professional development course, offering, material or activity administered by the state that is not made available in an accessible format to individuals with disabilities.
A Few Landmark Cases in Minnesota
McCourt V. Carnahan
On May 7, 2020, a complaint was filed against Jennifer Carnahan of the Minnesota Republican Party alleging that their website was not accessible.
Minnesota Courts Block ADA Title III ‘‘Drive-By’’ Suits
In 2018, Minnesota federal courts issued two decisions dismissing so-called ‘‘drive-by’’ disability access lawsuits.
McCourt V. Carver County
A disability advocate with autism sued Carver County, claiming their website violated the ADA.