Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not enforced or administered by the state Office of Information Practices, OIP would like to remind state and county boards that ADA requirements also apply to all public meetings. The state Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB) has recently posted on its website “Guidance on the Provision of Auxiliary Aids/Services or Accommodations Due to a Disability at Public Meetings or Events,” which contains sample language that state and county boards should include on their meeting agendas to notify people that an accommodation due to a disability may be requested in advance of a public meeting. Additionally, according to DCAB, “the agenda and all supporting documents linked to the agenda should be prepared in an accessible format readable by a person with screen-reader software, including the inclusion of alt text (alternative text) behind images.” Thus, in addition to the state Sunshine Law, boards should comply with federal ADA requirements to ensure that their notices and meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities.
For questions about the ADA, please contact DCAB by email at [email protected], phone 586-8121 or TTY 586-8162, or mail to 1010 Richards Street, Room 118, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. For questions about the Sunshine Law, please contact OIP.