Hubbard County’s website will soon be more Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, thanks to free software.

“This came up as a result of some recent litigation involving Carver County and the cities of Chanhassen and Norwood Young America,” Hubbard County Coordinator Eric Nerness reported to the county board on Sept. 3.

According to the Pioneer Press, Noah J. McCourt, a disability advocate with autism from Waconia, filed a lawsuit in federal court in October 2018 claiming their websites violated both state and federal disability law.

“This is an important thing for us because a first violation can result in a fine of up to $50,000, the second can result in a fine of up to $100,000,” Nerness said.

After conducting some research, Nerness found a software developer, called UserWay.org, that provides website accessibility plugins, such as keyboard navigation, enlarging text, highlighting links, etc. The software is compatible with the county’s website, Nerness said, “and the beautiful thing is it’s free.”

The board unanimously authorized Nerness and Hubbard County IT Director Robb Warne to proceed.