Jonathan Lazar provided testimony about digital accessibility to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and MIDA provided comments to the rulemaking related to web and mobile app accessibility under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
University of Maryland College of Information Studies (INFO) professor Jonathan Lazar, Executive Director of MIDA, provided written testimony to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging last month, and the Maryland Initiative for Digital Accessibility (MIDA) provided comments to the U.S. Department of Justice in response to a rulemaking related to web and mobile app accessibility under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lazar has been advising the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging for the past two years in their work involving digital accessibility in the federal government. Lazar submitted written testimony for the hearing held last month, titled, “Unlocking the Virtual Front Door: Ensuring Accessible Government Technology for People with Disabilities, Older Adults, and Veterans.” Lazar also submitted written testimony to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging for last year’s hearing about the same issue of accessible government technology for people with disabilities, older adults and veterans. The committee’s report, issued in December 2022, cited both Lazar’s 2022 testimony and also some of his published research.
“At MIDA, we care about not only impacting researchers and the tech industry, but also impacting public policy,” Lazar said. “Our work, and our input, helps to inform public policy. For instance, legislative testimony can lead to changes in bills and the resulting statutes. The comments submitted to the DOJ rulemaking by MIDA members, related to web and mobile app accessibility under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), can help inform regulations.”
INFO assistant research scientist Bern Jordan, who is also an Associate Director of MIDA, led the MIDA responses to the DOJ for The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities.
The comments submitted were co-authored by MIDA faculty members Rachael L. Bradley-Montgomery (INFO), Ursula Gorham-Oscilowski (Faculty Affairs), Paul T. Jaeger (INFO), Jonathan Lazar (INFO), Emily Singer Lucio (ADA coordinator), and Victoria Van Hyning (INFO). The comments were a multi-university effort that also included contributions from faculty at the University of Washington, Illinois State University and Shippensburg University.
Jordan and Lazar co-authored comments submitted to the U.S. Access Board in 2022 on a regulatory rulemaking involving the accessibility of kiosks and self-service ticketing machines.
Lazar has also given testimony 18 times to Maryland legislative committees, about bills related to digital accessibility. He helped write portions of the text of two bills that were passed and later signed into law.