Does your website have to be ADA compliant? In most cases, the answer is yes. If your website represents a business or a state or local government (or is funded by one), it must be ADA compliant.
Trying to understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites when you’re not a lawyer or an expert in website accessibility can be extremely frustrating. You have to wade through all kinds of legal jargon and technical language in order to understand what you need to do to be compliant. There are no official technical guidelines for people to follow, clue you in on the “unofficial” directions that will help deliver accessible sites and explain what happens if your site is found to be inaccessible to people with disabilities.
What Is ADA Compliance?
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. For a website to be compliant with the ADA, it must be accessible to people who browse the web with assistive devices. If your website is not accessible to people with disabilities, it’s not compliant with the law.
Because of how the legislation is written, having a website that is not accessible to everyone will be interpreted as active discrimination. If you are actively discriminating against people with disabilities, you are at risk to be sued. It’s that simple.
Is ADA Compliance Mandatory for Websites?
While there are some exceptions, ADA compliance is required for the majority of sites that people are accustomed to visiting on an everyday basis:
- Websites for, or funded by, state or local governments
- Websites for businesses
Are There Any Mandatory ADA Guidelines?
Unfortunately, the ADA does not provide an official set of guidelines for website accessibility. In fact, the legislation has never established a technical standard for websites.
The ADA was signed into law in the summer of 1990 and was initially written for a purely physical world. Only later was it applied to virtual extensions of physical places.
While the Department of Justice has considered the ADA applicable to government and business-related websites since at least 2008, it refuses to weigh in on any kind of mandatory guidelines because it believes that setting rules is the job of Congress.
This is why it is important to remain vigilant on industry trends or have a partner such as TRI Fusion Marketing to do so on your behalf, in order to keep risk at bay.
How Does a Website Become ADA-Compliant?
If your current team lacks the expertise or resources to test for website accessibility issues and make the necessary repairs should any problems be found, we can help your site become ADA-compliant with a comprehensive, three-step process:
- We scan your site for any complications your site’s visitors encounter every day.
- We help you remove all of your site’s barriers to accessibility.
- We will provide continuous monitoring across your site so you can immediately identify new accessibility concerns and make instant remediations that offer your visitors a smooth, accessible experience.
Take advantage of our Special Offer for all our existing clients, only $39 per month until 03/31/2023!