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When the Federal Government Comes Knocking on Your Virtual Door—What to Expect in an ADA or 504 Technology Review

| Proposal No: 1949

Bios & Handouts


  • Mary Lou Mobley, National Disability Expert, U.S. Dept. of Education
  • Ken Nakata, Director, ACP, HiSoftware

Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

Colleges and universities must make their programs accessible to people with disabilities. You will hear from 2 longtime accessibility attorneys who have conducted such reviews by the Federal government. They will help you understand what’s involved and how to avoid problems.


Title II of the ADA and Section 504 both require colleges and universities to ensure that their programs, services, and activities are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. To this end, today’s technology offers both benefits and challenges. For instance, web-based application forms may open possibilities for students with mobility impairments while also limiting options for students with visual impairments if those forms are not designed with accessibility in mind. This presentation focuses on what program access requires in today’s technically advanced educational world. It will explore where institutions fall short and what is involved in a review by the Federal government. The presenters are two former attorneys with the Disabilities Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. One attorney now works with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and will speak from the OCR perspective. The other now works as a consultant in


  1. Understanding what Federal law requires
  2. Understanding what a review by the Federal government entails
  3. Learning how to avoid a Federal agency review

Speaker Bio(s)

Mary Lou Mobley

Mary Lou Mobley graduated from Duke University in 1990 with a law degree and a Master’s in Philosophy. After clerking for a Federal judge, she joined the Federal government in Washington, DC, as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, where she earned numerous awards including the John Marshall Award for Distinguished Service. In 2006, she moved to Denver and joined the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where she currently serves as OCR’s National Disability Expert.

Ken Nakata

Ken Nakata is a well-known attorney in the area of IT accessibility and is the Director of HiSoftware’s Accessibility Consulting Practice (ACP). His work focuses on Web and software accessibility from both a legal and technical perspective. Nakata’s ACP team helps organizations manage the change towards accessibility in all aspects, providing consulting services aimed at shaping their accessibility policies and practices, and evaluating the overall state of their Web properties leveraging HiSoftware’s accessibility solutions. Nakata worked for twelve years as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He has argued on behalf of the United States government many times before the federal courts and has helped shape the government’s policies for the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Nakata also worked as Director of Accessibility and Government Compliance at BayFirst Solutions, a Washington, DC consulting firm.