There are a number of federal and state laws and policies that govern and affect Assistive Technology.
We have listed several important ones here:
Federal Laws and Policies
The regulations for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act were published on December 21, 2000. These regulations deal with new requirements under federal law that ensure that electronic devices and technologies are accessible to individuals with disabilities .
On October 8, 2010, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)became law. The CVAA updates federal communications law to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications. The CVAA makes sure that accessibility laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s are brought up to date with 21st century technologies, including new digital, broadband, and mobile innovations. More information about the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).
The US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights also issues “Dear Colleague Letters” (DCL) which are designed to inform educational institutions, students, parents, advocacy agencies and others of updates to policy and interpretation of regulations. Here are some recent DCLs related to technology in schools:
- May 26, 2011 DCL – Legal obligation to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of technology (overview article).
- June 29, 2010 DCL – Concerning colleges and universities that are using electronic book readers that are not accessible to students who are blind or have low vision.
- May 14, 2014 DCL – Concerning students with disabilities in public charter schools.
- November 12, 2014 DCL – Concerning effective communication for students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities in public elementary and secondary schools.
Maine State Laws and Policies
The State of Maine Legislative website that contains the text of the Maine State Law dealing with sale of Assistive Technology devices in Maine. Specifically, it is a consumer protection law sometime known as the “lemon law”. More information about Maine’s AT “Lemon Law”…
Maine’s “ABLE” Act
The federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, passed in 2014 is modeled after 529 savings plans and lets people with disabilities, and their families, put aside up to $14,000 a year to be used for a wide variety of disability-related costs, including living expenses. In 2016, the Maine Legislature passed LD 1421 (HP 967), a law directing the Treasurer of State to study the most effective options for Maine residents to participate in tax-advantaged savings accounts for persons with disabilities. The legislation passed the House on 2/18/16 and the Senate on 2/23/16. It became law without the Governor’s signature on 3/6/16. For more information, please contact the Treasurer’s Office
Maine State Government Accessibility Standards for Information Technology
This is an informational resource for application developers, software contractors and web page designer working with Maine State Government. It details the requirements of the State of Maine’s standards for Information Technology with specifics on accessibility standards and web site policies. More information about Maine State Government Accessibility Standards.
Chapter 101: Maine Medical Assistance Manual
An on-line version of the Medical Assistance Manual may be found on the state web site. However, individual chapters are in word processor format and may need to be downloaded before viewing. More information about Chapter 101.
Maine Special Education Regulations
Here is the link to the Maine Department of Education – Special Services which lists all of the regulations that deal with Special Education including proposed revisions to the regulations and links to the federal laws.