House Bill 21-1110 is proving to be the perfect example of why “representation matters.”
This is especially true for the state lawmaker who sponsored legislation for people with disabilities.
In 2020, after freshman Democratic Representative David Ortiz was electing. He, in fact, became the first person who uses a wheelchair to service in the Colorado General Assembly. Moreover, this year, Ortiz did lead efforts to incorporate some federal protections for people with disabilities into state law. Thus making it easier for them to sue the government for discrimination.
Other states in the U.S. have, in fact, passed similar disability rights laws. Colorado’s legislation, which Democratic Governor Jared Polis did sign on June 30th, does go a step ahead.
House Bill 21-1110 Requirements
Colorado will be the first state in the country to require by law that state and local public entities. That is to meet website accessibility standards. Moreover, when HB-1110’s requirements are fully implementing. The state’s Office of Information Technology is tasking with developing those standards thus hiring a software developer to help state agencies put them in place.
The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and the National Federation of the Blind originally approached Ortiz with their proposal for HB-1110. They are advocates from those groups. In fact, they told him no other states had passed a web accessibility law. This was what Ortiz had said. Yet, he was eager to back this effort.
Representation for the Disability Community
In fact, that does show why it’s important to have people from the disability community in the elected office, Ortiz argued.
“Therefore, when it comes to fighting for disability rights, we do have plenty of allies, but then it’s different, when it’s your community,” he said.
True accessibility online means people should be able to, according to the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, should be able to “perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web,” as well as “contribute to the Web” — this is regardless of auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech or visual disability.