NCIL Resolution on Access Ready Enviroments

National Council on Independent Living
A Resolution on Access Ready Environments

Whereas, the Americans With Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, as amended, and other federal/state laws require that all new or updated
buildings meet federal and state physical accessibility guidelines;
Whereas, the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that government services and
places of public accommodation meet accessibility guidelines;
Whereas, the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that places of employment make
reasonable accommodations to provide for the employment of people with disabilities;
Whereas, the courts including the Supreme Court of the United States have upheld all
the above requirements;
Whereas, the cost of retrofitting or upgrading both buildings and technology is often held
out as a reason not to provide accessibility;
Whereas, many potential employers give lip service to the law and the concept of
employing people with disabilities, but these intentions are undermined by hiring
managers who quietly fear the cost of making a workplace accessible;
Whereas, modern technology driven workplaces are often not readily accessible to
potential employees with disabilities;
Whereas, accessible twenty-first century information technology has proven the ability
to level the workplace playing field;
Whereas, this same technology has proven the ability to make public facing portals to
service, retail, and information delivery accessible to people with disabilities;
Whereas, inaccessible twenty first century technology creates unreasonable, punitive
and costly barriers to people with disabilities;
Whereas, information technology is clearly the lifeblood of twenty-first-century
employment and commerce;
Whereas, the cost of accessible technology, if required in advance, is marginally
different from inaccessible products; and

Whereas, legal and moral precedent exists for the advance planning and
implementation of Access Ready Environments;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the National Council on Independent Living assembled
this twenty-third day of July 2019 herein request and require that;
Federal, state and local governments, business and places of employment and public
accommodation voluntarily implement all steps necessary to require that information
technology managers, departments, developers, and providers take actions to impose
accessibility requirements in advance of their need in the same way that structures are
required to be accessible in advance of their need; and
That the Congress of the United States and the legislative bodies of the various states
take legislative action to require that Access Ready information technology
environments be imposed under the appropriate titles of the Americans With Disabilities
Act and supporting state statutes; and
That the Congress direct the United States Access Board or other appropriate bodies to
set Access Ready information technology standards where none exist designed to
create employment and public-facing environments that are or can easily be accessible
to people with disabilities; and
That Federal, state and local government purchasing departments, along with those of
business impose Access Ready requirements on respondents to requests for proposals
and other solicitations related to the purchase of information technology; and
That government and business information technology managers, departments,
developers, and providers at all leadership levels engage with disability technology
experts to review their current employee and public-facing systems to ascertain the
necessary upgrades to create an Access Ready environment; and
That disability organizations and experts begin to examine public facing information
technologies in order to inform the government and business owners of those systems
of the issues found, and further to take appropriate actions to bring about changes that
will provide Access Ready environments; and
Be it further resolved that the United States Department of Justice is hereby requested
to review, investigate, monitor, report on and take action against employers and places
of public accommodation who have a proven track record of avoiding, refusing to
implement, and/or failing to otherwise provide for Access Ready information technology
environments by policy, unreasonable budget restrictions, and/or supporting an
atmosphere of institutional discrimination against people with disabilities; and

That individuals with disabilities, with the support of their friends, families and civil rights
organizations, begin a grassroots campaign utilizing existing complaint and legal
avenues to bring to the attention of government and business the need for immediate

action to alter the course of technology development and implementation to include
accessibility from the outset and not as a case by case afterthought.