Make sure your website is compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
Your website looks good, is functional and provides a great user experience. But, can a disabled person use it?
Website compliance is important to avoid a lawsuit or government action, but it’s also as important to provide an equal opportunity for people to enjoy your goods or services whether they have a disability or not. In the video and article below, we’ll provide some useful insight to help you navigate through ADA regulations with ease. We’ll also make sure you’re up-to-date with any changes coming to ADA website compliance in 2018.
Can a visually-impaired person understand what your photos and other non-text aspects of your website are and do? If not, you may need to make some changes or you may receive a letter from lawyers threatening Americans with Disability Act or ADA Claim.
You may be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, especially when it comes to local businesses and venues, but did you know it also covers websites as well? Starting in 2018, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires all federal websites to meet certain accessibility requirements that make it possible for disabled people to use their websites.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities.
“What are the ADA regulations?
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990. It was originally for physical accommodations – retail locations with ramps, elevators, things that would allow people that are handicapped to get around the store and access different floors and levels.
The regulations have been a little behind the times because they failed to include web presence for organizations in the regulations. In 2016, a few lawsuits went to trial and judges had mixed rulings. Since then the topic has gained a lot of attention and has led to some changes.
Changes to ADA website compliance in 2018
When Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was originally created, evolving technologies weren’t really taken into consideration. Websites, documents, and software programs that met Section 508 standards could still have issues for disabled government employees and the public alike. Therefore, revisions were made and all federal agencies, as well as contractors, must abide by the updated 508 standards as of January 18, 2018 – that includes ensuring website 508 compliance.
Just as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act was out of date, the original version of the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0), was published as a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation in 1999. The last updated version was released in 2008 as WCAG 2.0. Since 2008, web-connected technologies, mobile devices, and tablets are used a lot more frequently and the new WCAG 2.1 will better regulate these items, attempting to keep discrimination towards individuals with disabilities at bay. Currently, WCAG 2.1 is still a working draft and the final version is set to be released in the middle of 2018.” Chris Yoko, Yokoco
Luckily, the Department of Justice has made accessibility guidelines available to everyone to determine if our website meets those standards, and those are:
By making your web presence ADA compliant, you’re essentially meeting the WCAG 2.0 website compliance guidelines, and making the user experience for people with disabilities, more user-friendly. Giving the user the same opportunities to interact with your website or app as someone who doesn’t have a disability.