Website Accessibility & Certification

Welcome to our blog on Website Accessibility where we will be discussing the laws concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Section 508 Requirement and Responsibilities (Section 508) and how to design your websites to be compliant and achieve certification.

 

 

WHO NEEDS TO FOLLOW THE WCAG GUIDELINES?

All organizations, Federal and State agencies, and educational institutions should look to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to provide guidance on how to make products accessible.

Section 508 is currently undergoing a refresh and will be requiring compliance with these guidelines for all Federal agencies and those who are selling to the Federal Government. The Department of Justice is also looking to these guidelines for the set of guidelines that organizations will need to comply to under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

WHO NEEDS TO FOLLOW THE 508 REQUIREMENTS?

U.S. government websites and applications and those developed using US Federal funds must comply with Section 508. Many state agencies and corporations have adopted the standards.

WHO NEEDS TO FOLLOW THE ADA REQUIREMENTS?

The ADA standards apply to commercial and public entities that have “places of public accommodation” which includes the internet. The DOJ is currently determining the specific regulations but that does not mean website discrimination will be tolerated. The DOJ’s public position was clarified in the following statement made during the Netflix case:

“The Department is currently developing regulations specifically addressing the accessibility of goods and services offered via the web by entities covered by the ADA. The fact that the regulatory process is not yet complete in no way indicates that web services are not already covered by title III.”
— Statement of Interest of the United States Department of Justice in NAD v. Netflix (page 10)

Who does the law affect?

  • Americans with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
  • All state and local government agencies
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