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2004 North Dakota Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2004)

handle is hein.sag/sagnd0002 and id is 1 raw text is: LETTER OPINION
January 2, 2004
Mr. Mike Ressler
Information Technology Department
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505
Dear Mr. Ressler:
Thank you for your letter requesting my opinion regarding state and federal
requirements governing web site accessibility. You also ask to what extent ITD may
waive the accessibility standards found in current Information Technology Department
(ITD) policy DP05-01, which incorporates W3C Web Content Guidelines.'
The State, in both its capacity as an employer and as a provider of public services, is
subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under Title I of the ADA, the
State, as an employer must make reasonable accommodations necessary to enable a
qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position
unless doing so poses an undue hardship. See 42 U.S.C. § 12112. Under Title 1, the
term undue hardship means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, when
considered in light of the following factors: (i) the nature and cost of the accommodation
needed; (ii) the overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in providing
the reasonable accommodation; the number of persons employed at the facility; the
effect on epenses and resources, or the impact otherwise of such accommodation
upon the facility's operation; (iii) the covered entity's overall financial resources; the
overall size of the covered entity's business with respect to the number of its
employees; the number, type, and location of its facilities; and (iv) the type of operation
or operations of the covered entity, including the composition, structure, and functions of
the entity's workforce; the geographic separateness, administrative, or fiscal relationship
of the facility or facilities in question to the covered entity. 42 U.S.C. §12111(10).
Employers need not analyze the costs and benefits of proposed accommodations with
1 The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the international body of industry-leading
corporations, individuals, and organizations that set the standards by which the World
Wide Web operates. The W3C guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible
to people with disabilities. A full copy of the guidelines may be found at

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