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801-452-4600  |  165 W. 5100 S., Washington Terrace, UT 84405

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An access door button that is used by wheel chair bound individuals to help physically exit T.H. Bell.

Why the change to the website?

10/30/19 - Washinton Terrace -  It is not just a difference in appearance; it is a whole new website.  Many of our youngest readers, may not remember hearing about a law used to help people with disabilities have equal access as able bodied people.  This law was the American’s with Disabilities Act that was signed by the 41st President George H. W. Bush in 1990.  This law affected public spaces.  It is now affecting electronic websites as public spaces.

Many American’s understood the law’s results as they could visibly see the changes to public spaces over the years.  Side walk crossings having noises to help the blind know when it was safe to cross the street.  At those same crosswalks,  the curbs cut away for wheel chair access, and these were all good things to assist the handicapped. 

The law affected public spaces and public buildings, and at our own school, TH. Bell, the law had these physical effects:

  • A ramp was built for the handicapped to the entrance of the building which covered the stairs that were formally used to enter the building.
  • A door was installed at the entrace that allowed wheel chair bound people access to the school from this entrance ramp.
  • An elevator was installed for the handicapped to access the gym
  • A ramp was installed in the lower hall to access the art, band, choir, and technology labs.
The ramps that were added by the ADA law.
Ramp to Lower Hallthumb One Entrance ramp thumb

These have all taken time and were physical changes.   However, almost 30 years after the ADA was written it has come out of the courts of this country that the ADA also applied to public spaces that were electronic.    

Employers who had more than 15 people had to have ADA compliant websites.  The Weber School District has been pushing this change since last year. There are substantial fines for each violation of the law which can add up to thousands of dollars.  

This meant webmasters in our district, have been working on two different websites at least for the last several months.   In this district, webmasters, have another job, they are full time teachers.

The Tech staff in the district, did the planning and set up a framework for the webmasters to work from.  It then became each webmaster’s responsibility to develop the site.  Each grade school, Junior High, and High School has a website. 

There are lots of issues with making a website ADA compliant.  This is why some of the previously used content will not be seen any more:

  • No mini calendar as it can’t be read by assistive technologies. 
  • No animations in the main header anymore because it also does not meet the requirements of the ADA.

There are several sections to the law, but the most important items to address were:

  1. Text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, or machine speech. 
  2. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  3. Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  4. Make text content readable and understandable.

This should give you a little insight on to the change.  It has taken each individual teacher that is a webmaster, many volunteer hours of work to get the new site up and ready. The website is still being built, and there will still be changes that will occur.  However, It is our hope that you find our new site easy to navigate, and can find the information that you are looking for readily available.   

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