ADA Website Accessibility – Does Your Business Need to Comply?

2018 was a big year for ADA Website Accessibility, especially regarding the “open and free” internet. And in that year, website compliance became a regular talking point, making sure that website hosts were offering equal opportunity for people to enjoy goods or services.

Through this all, a new ADA website compliance law was drafted—and later approved—that changed many of the already strict ADA regulation. Keen on learning more about this rather obscure ADA website compliance law? Well, keep on reading to find out.

What are ADA regulations, Anyway?

Back in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was founded. Originally, it was only designed to accommodate physical obstacles, making it a necessity for retailers (and more) to install ramps, elevators, and other handicap accommodations.
However, as the Digital Age expanded, these regulations didn’t keep up with the times. They failed to include certain website parameters that need to be in place for people hard of sight or hearing. In 2016, a handful of legal actions were taken to take, but, ultimately, were met with mixed reviews by trials. Now, though, it seems that changed—completely.

In fact, these new ADA regulations have lead to a slew of predatory lawsuits. So, suffice to say you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for them—which we can help you with. (More on that later.)

What 2018 Meant for ADA Regulations

In nutshell, the Rehabilitation Act’s 508 Section—which originally was created without technology in mind—went into an overhaul this year.

In January of last year, revisions were made to the antiquated section, approved and enacted by all federal agencies, as well as contractors.508-section updates were made, each one aimed to help with compliance across website platforms.

During this time, the original version of the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) was updated, as well. Initially published as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) back in 1999, this newest version includes legal parameters that must aline with “web-connected technologies” like smartphones, tablets, and other mobile and desktop devices.

 In 2008, the W3C was given a refresh but failed to address the growing number of web-connected devices that were on the horizon.

Does My Business Have to Comply with These New ADA Regulations?

In many cases, most small business won’t have to comply be by these new mandates.

However, if your business is structured around benefiting the public or either a local or state government agency, you’ll have to abide by these new standards. Also, if you employ more than fifteen people, your company will need to uphold these new ADA regulations, as well. or are a private employer with 15 or more employees, you should be compliant with the ADA

A general rule of thumb is that if your business venture has previously had to follow ADA regulations than these updates will apply to you.

How Can I Find Out if My Website is ADA compliant?

Thankfully, knowing whether or not your website is easy. There are a litany of online tools to determine if our website meets these standards. Below are the most useful ones:

Each of these tools generates detailed reports that let you know whether or not your website meets ADA.

What steps can we take to help make our website ADA Compliant?

There are many widgets available such as the one you see on our websites lower right-hand corner that solve many ADA compliance issues. We are big fans of UserWay’s accessibility widget. It is very simple to configure and can be installed on most websites in a matter of minutes. If you would like help getting this widget installed on your site, please reach out. In most cases, we can have the widget up and running the same day.