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ADA Compliance - a work in progress

Equalweb
Posted by Equalweb on May 20, 2021 5:38:50 PM
So what does ADA compliance actually means?
If you are a business owner or company lawyer you must of heard about " ADA compliance " before, but do you know what exactly does is means and how do you make sure to implement those laws correctly?
Back in 2009, the US departments of justice have published the guidelines and standards for online technology and electronics to be accessible for people with disabilities (PWD), including online websites, hardware, software, and documents online, Each facility or part of a facility constructed by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public entity shall be designed and constructed in such manner that the facility or part of the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if the construction was commenced after January 26, 1992
Whom 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
 
Fulfilling the ADA guidelines
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Web “content” generally refers to the information in a web page or web application.
 
Websiteslet`s talk about ADA compliance in regards to websites and internet technologies, the most common phrase that goes along with ADA in a manner of internet technologies is the Title III - Title III of the ADA requires that every owner, lessor, or operator of a “place of public accommodation” provide equal access to users who meet ADA standards for disability. a large number of courts around the USA have ruled that commercial websites are a “place of public accommodation” and subject to the ADA. and this led to a major increase of lawsuits filed under the Title III of the ADA, for example, a court ruling against the Winn-Dixie supermarket chain for not making its site accessible to users with low vision. on top of those, the US is looking forward to adopting more accessibility requirements such as WCAG 2.1 and Section 508. Many of these ADA website accessibility lawsuits have focused on larger businesses with perceived deeper pockets, likely because plaintiffs’ counsel believes these businesses are more willing to pay small settlements to dispose of these cases. Therefore, many smaller businesses that operate websites have opted to monitor developments until Congress, the DoJ, or another agency provides better guidance. However, larger, more conservative businesses seeking to minimize litigation risk are often opting to retain a reputable web designer to ensure the company’s full compliance with WCAG 2.1 (or 2.0), or at least work toward that goal.

The Department of Justice has made it clear that these legal requirements are on the horizon. Optimizing websites for accessibility and ADA compliance will serve to create better content that is usable by more people, which makes the internet a better place for all. Some accessibility guidelines require extra technical work, but overall the guidelines align with web design best practices: make your content available in different forms for different devices and audiences, make your website logical and easy to use.

Website accessibility and how to implement
web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.
There are 1.5 billion people with disabilities using the internet every day and struggle with it because of a website not being accessible, imagine clicking without using your hands, having a flashing video risking you with an epileptic seizure, or in fact try to close your eyes and pause the video… struggle? now that you understand the issues, let's talk about how to fix them.
 
so how do we make sure our website accessible?
there are many widgets and scripts that can help you find the errors and get information on how to fix them, but there is one tool by EqualWeb that allows you to fully scan your website without hassling too much in your code files. the EqualWeb Accessibility Checker is a free automated auditing tool for WCAG 2.1 validation. The checker analyzes the website and provides a comprehensive visual report about the site accessibility issues including instructions & guidance on how to fix them. the EqualWeb Accessibility Checker tool is designed to allow online content to be tested to determine whether it satisfies the requisite criteria for a conformance level. Testing should involve a combination of automated testing and human evaluation.

Summary
 
Understanding that people with disabilities have the right to full and equal participation in all walks of life. The Equal Rights Act for People with Disabilities and Accessibility Regulations are designed to ensure that they can exercise this right. The W3C International Web Content Accessibility Guidelines become an international guideline for website accessibility regulation. The Accessibility Regulations deal with the removal of barriers so that people with disabilities can receive the same level of comfort and quality as the general public accepts. Accessible accommodations allow people with different disabilities such as the blind and visually impaired, people with physical disabilities who have difficulty operating their hands, people with cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia and ADHD, people with hearing impairments, and others with disabilities, to make effective use of the services and information offered on the site.
 
EqualWeb supports accessible internet for everyone.

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