Establishes Website Accessibility Grant Advisory Council, administered by the Minnesota Council on Disability, and money appropriated for grants to cities and counties to improve website accessibility.
Many Minnesotans with disabilities rely on their city’s or county’s websites to learn about local services, receive news alerts, and interact with their local officials. Due to budget constraints and limited resources, many small cities, towns, and counties cannot dedicate funds to ensure that their websites are accessible. This can lead to the underrepresentation of disability issues in local government because Minnesotans are unable to engage with their local officials. It can also be dangerous because Minnesotans with disabilities may miss local emergency alerts or not have access to critical emergency phone numbers and points of contact. Inaccessible websites can also cause insurmountable barriers in paying fees, taxes, and fines to local governments that use websites to conduct these services.
League of Minnesota Cities
It may be difficult to convince legislative leaders to appropriate funds to a new grants program in a budget year.
Goal of Policy
The policy’s goal is to establish a Website Accessibility Grants Program that the Website Accessibility Advisory Council would administer under the Minnesota Council on Disability. The Website Accessibility Advisory Council would review grant applications and distribute funds to city and county governments based on the greatest need and best action plan to make their websites accessible. This goal would then create a foundation of accessible website resources that all cities and counties could utilize, which would lead the way to better website accessibility across the state of Minnesota and at all levels of government.