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Navigating ADA and Website Accessibility

04/17/2019

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Recent changes to the ADA standards for electronic and information technology may confuse organizations about their responsibilities for compliance. The laws, guidelines, and requirements can be difficult roads to navigate. What exactly is ADA compliance for websites? Who is required to be compliant? Is my organization in violation of any laws? Marketing Alliance can help answer some of those questions.

 

What is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination. In September 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. Under these standards, all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. Title III of the ADA requires businesses to maintain an accessible website.  

 

Who does the law apply to?

  • Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • All state and local government agencies

 

How can you tell if your website is compliant?

While there are no clear website accessibility guidelines for commercial entities, there are requirements for federal websites—Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WGAC) 2.1. The four core principles in WGAC is that a website must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

  1. Perceivable - the information on a website must be presented in ways that can be perceived by different senses. A video, for example, must have captioning for those with hearing disabilities and a transcript for those with low vision or blindness.
  2. Operable - the user must be able to operate interface components by different devices. Dropdown items in a navigation bar, for example, should be accessible by both the mouse and keyboard.
  3. Understandable - content and operation of a website cannot be presented in a way that is confusing. Forms, for example, must be well labeled and organized, so the content being requested for that form field is clearly understood.
  4. Robust - the website must be readable by a wide range of devices. The main article, for example, must be tagged, so screen readers can jump straight to it without having to read through the top part of a page.

Ensuring that your organization is complaint will not only provide accessibility to users with disabilities, but it will also make your organization less susceptible to lawsuits. 


Is your organization ADA Compliant? Marketing Alliance can help.

We stay up to date on website regulations. Confused about your responsibility for ADA compliance? We can help.

“When done wrong, a website can be both technically accessible and functionally inaccessible. Does your web company know how to tell the difference?”

- Porter Foster
Web Development Director
Marketing Alliance