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Schools switch website providers
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With the prospect of losing millions of dollars in federal funds, Warren County School officials have moved swiftly amid complaints they are not up to code when it comes to making their website handicap accessible.
“We aren’t the only ones who have received complaints,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox to the Board of Education. “The same group has filed complaints on several schools and colleges for the same thing.”
The complaint was that the school system website was not handicap accessible. School Board attorney Robin Phillips pointed out there is a watchdog group which has been targeting websites that do not meet federal regulations and filing complaints in an attempt to make them become fully handicap accessible.
“The penalty of not doing it is the deduction of federal funds,” said Cox, noting Phillips is working with compliance officials to ensure the school system is doing everything it needs to fulfill the law’s requirements.
The solution, Cox said, is to change website vendors, going with Finalsite as their new web provider. The new site will offer things like audio eye and will be accessible to the blind and deaf by providing audio and special video-style selections where the user can change colors and the size of the characters on the website.
Cox said the school system signed a three-year contract with Finalsite and will have to pay a $20,000 setup fee. However, he noted the school system will begin saving money in just a year given the new rates, plus the site will bring them up to federal codes.