Michigan SILC Releases Inaccessible Website; Refuses to Answer Consumer Concerns

In January 2016, the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) released a revamped website. Unfortunately, that website is inaccessible – a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

A screenshot of an accessibility report for misilc.org shows many errors, including empty forms labels, empty links, navigation and content issues. Report also shows the website without styles, which reads as “December 8, 2015 - Kelsey Courtly - Comment” and “February 11, 2016 – Rodney Craig – Comment” over and over (instead of the titles of posted articles).

A screenshot of an accessibility report for misilc.org shows many errors, including empty forms labels, empty links, navigation and content issues. Report also shows the website without styles, which reads as “December 8, 2015 – Kelsey Courtly – Comment” and “February 11, 2016 – Rodney Craig – Comment” over and over (instead of the titles of posted articles).

Consumer advocates have written to the Executive Director of the SILC and provided resources demonstrating the issues that make the website inaccessible. No response or acknowledgement was received.

It’s outrageous that the entities funded by taxpayer dollars to promote accessibility in our communities can’t provide access to their own spaces. If Michigan’s SILC was controlled by people with a wide variety of significant disabilities, as required by law, it would be familiar with the ADA. The website should have been beta tested by people with disabilities before being released to the public, including people who use screen readers.

At the very least, the SILC should assure its constituency that they are taking the matter seriously and working to provide access in the short term. Instead, they’ve decided that they aren’t beholden to the disability community and that our concerns are unworthy of response.

Sara Grivetti - HeadshotWe can’t go on like this. Independent Living Networks are funded by taxpayer dollars specifically to promote disability rights. What we have in Michigan is much different: Michigan CILs function as the charity wing of Michigan Rehabilitation Services. We must put Michigan CILs and SILC back in the hands of the disability community, or we will continue to see outcomes just like this.

The Michigan SILC can be reached by emailing Executive Director Rodney Craig at rodney@misilc.org and Chairperson Sara Grivetti at sara@dnmichigan.onmicrosoft.com.

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One thought on “Michigan SILC Releases Inaccessible Website; Refuses to Answer Consumer Concerns

  1. From Darma J. Canter: It is deeply disturbing that people entrusted with promoting integration and protecting the civil rights of the Disabled prefer to make decisions in isolation when advocates have offered to share their knowledge and experience with the non-disabled staff at the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (MISILC). Why?

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