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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: 2680

Bios & Handouts


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

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 2-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

Learn what to expect when federal agencies,like the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, are investigating ADA and 504 concerns related to website and technology accessibility, from two of the nation's experts.


We will discuss how federal agencies approach their responsibilities to enforce Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the context of higher education, which is increasingly being delivered via technology. How are legal provisions that were crafted well before the Internet enforced in today's educational environment? How can covered entities get ahead of the enforcement agencies and make sure they are in compliance? What practical steps are needed to ensure quality assurance in this area? If an entity is investigated, what is its best approach during the investigation and after a Federal agency has made findings? We will also review recent legal developments.


  1. Attendees will learn more about Section 504 and the Americans with Disabiltiies Act
  2. Attendees will learn how federal agencies enforce civil rights laws with respect to website accessibility
  3. Attendees will learn what options they have when approached by federal agencies during investigations

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 an attorney in the area of IT accessibility and works as the Director of Accessibility Practices for Cryptzone. His work focuses on web and software accessibility from both a legal and technical perspective. He also helps organizations manage the change towards accessibility in all aspects-including crafting policies, developing stakeholder ownership, and forging awareness and commitment to the legal and business case supporting accessibility. Before joining Cryptzone, he 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 government¹s policies for the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition to litigation, he also helped developed many of the Department¹s policies, including Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities available at and which reflects the Department¹s current view towards ADA compliance for state and local government websites. He is a frequent speaker on both law and technology and is equally adept at conducting one-on-one workshops with programmers and developers as well as explaining law and policy to large audiences.


Presentation - When the Federal Government Knocks on Your Virtual Door