The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidelines on accessibility for websites in March. They’re in line with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that provide more effective accessibility, communication technical standards and specific standards for assistive technology.
Your website must be accessible to those with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA’s guidelines in relation to accessibility for websites typically include:
- To avoid poor contrast
- Do not rely solely on pictures or designs to convey the information
- Offering alternative text options for widget or design functions
- Captioning videos
- Utilizing online forms properly
- The keyboard navigation feature is built-in to your site
- Plain language content
They are often examples of accessibility issues on websites. This guidance from the Department of Justice doesn’t provide specific technical details on the changes that it will implement. It does, however, point of accessibility-related enforcement being more of a priority in the future.
It is possible to read the entire document on the ADA.gov site. It provides easy-to-understand explanations for users as well as examples of cases involving inaccessible websites, as well as how the issue was dealt with.
Who Should Update Their Web Accessibility?
Your website should be accessible to the widest range of people possible is the ideal step to take. It can however be challenging when obstacles such as time, money and staffing shortages and a lack of website tech know-how create difficulties for updating.
The guidance is legally applicable to:
- Websites of local and state government
- Subjects to ADA Title II
- Companies that are open to the public that have websites
- The entities covered under ADA Title III
Do you know if you’re an Title II entity? We’ve discussed the Act as well as the ways it defines entities, as well as an overview of the discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Unsure if you’re an Title III public business? Companies that have to adhere to these regulations are described within Title III.
What happens if I don’t Make Updates to My Website?
If an individual finds your website unaccessible as per the law you can make complaints. Penalties can range from $75,000 for a single offense and subsequent offenses could result in a fine of up to 150,000.
If you have a complaint, or you aren’t certain regarding your website’s accessibility You can speak with an attorney who is focused on the discrimination of disabled persons. There are free internet resources that can help you verify the accessibility of your website and conduct a no-cost review in case you are concerned.
There is no need to resolve this on your own – Hire a Lawyer
A consultation with a lawyer could aid you in understanding your options and help you ensure your rights. Check out our directory of attorneys for a lawyer in close proximity to your home who will be able to assist.