Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability just as other civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to enjoy employment opportunities, purchase goods and services, and participate in state and local government programs.
Do Section 508 Accessibility Standards Apply to My Website?
December 12, 2017 – You may wonder if non-federal websites are required to comply with the Revised 508 Standards. Since Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 only applies to federal agencies, the short answer is no. However, other laws do apply, and the bottom line is that your website is likely required to be accessible.
Other Laws that Apply to Website Accessibility
Even when Section 508 doesn’t apply, many non-federal websites are still required to be accessible under other laws, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or state or local laws.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability by federal agencies and recipients of federal assistance. In this instance, accessibility applies to facilities, and communications such as websites. So, if your organization receives federal funding or assistance, your website is required to be accessible. You may also want to consult your funding agencies to determine the requirement to make your websites and other communications accessible. When in doubt, design for accessibility.
What about the Americans with Disabilities Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also comes into play here, and applies more broadly. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says that ADA requires any person, business, or organization covered under the Act to communicate effectively about their programs, services, and activities. This includes information provided through your website.
In its Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on State and Local Government Web Accessibility, the DOJ explained that it was considering proposing WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the accessibility standard for websites and web content. The DOJ noted that WCAG 2.0 has become the internationally recognized benchmark for web accessibility. The Revised 508 Standards are based on WCAG 2.0.
However, a final rule specifying technical standards under the ADA has not been adopted. Until the DOJ adopts specific technical requirements for web accessibility in a final rule, if you’re subject to the ADA, you have more flexibility in determining how to make your website compliant with the ADA’s general requirements of nondiscrimination and effective communication. Remember, you still must comply with applicable regulations (Title II for state and local governments, or Title III for public accommodations and commercial facilities).
If you’re working to make your website accessible, you may want to consult the Accessibility Resources for Developers and Authors, developed to help Federal agencies implement the Revised 508 Standards. Also review this Quick Reference Guide from the W3C on how to meet WCAG 2.0. If you have questions about ADA requirements, please contact DOJ at https://www.ada.gov/contact_drs.htm. See guidance on the Revised Section 508 Standards for additional help.
The Bottom Line
Section 508 may not apply to your website, but other laws likely do, so your website should be accessible. Most accessibility standards are moving toward WCAG 2.0 standards to best meet the needs of people with disabilities. Regardless of whether or not federal regulations apply to your website, designing for all users is a best practice, and will help your organization more effectively meet the needs of all your customers.
Online Accessibility Act
Introduced in House (02/18/2021)
Online Accessibility Act
This bill sets forth requirements for consumer-facing websites and mobile applications owned or operated by a private entity and guidance regarding standards for website accessibility by the disabled.
Specifically, the bill prohibits the exclusion of an individual, by reason of disability, from participation in or being denied the full and equal benefits of the services of such a website or application or from being subjected to discrimination by a private owner or operator of such a website or application.
Such a website or application shall be considered compliant if it is in substantial compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and Level AA standard established by the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. A noncompliant entity shall provide an alternative, equivalent means of access by individuals with disabilities. The Access Board must publish related standards.
The bill sets forth provisions regarding administrative remedies and reporting of violations and enforcement by the Department of Justice and through private rights of action.
Examples of Disabilities
Examples of Disabilities
There is a wide variety of disabilities, and the ADA regulations do not list all of them. Some disabilities are visible and some are not. Some examples of disabilities include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Deafness or hearing loss
- Blindness or low vision
- Mobility disabilities such as those requiring the use of a wheelchair, walker, or cane
- Intellectual disabilities
- Major depressive disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
The ADA covers many other disabilities not listed here
To get started, find out if your site is compliant by requesting our:
Why choose Mega Innovations Group?
Mega Innovations Group has partnered with AudioEye, the industry-leading digital accessibility software solution provider, delivering web accessibility compliance plans, at all price points, to businesses of all sizes – keeping you protected from legal risk from the minute we are installed.
Our systems and processes combine advanced AI and expert touch, enabling us to monitor, test for, and automatically fix many accessibility issues on your site.
Accessibility is a journey, not a destination. Websites are dynamic and change frequently, and it’s important to stay on top of accessibility issues throughout the life of your site. Mega Innovations Group utilizes AudioEye AI to keep on top of that, so you don’t have to. We’re the perfect partner to ensure that your site is on the path to ADA compliance, and your legal partner as your site continues to grow and evolve.
You can count on our expertise to solve your website’s ADA compliance needs.
What is Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973?
Section 508, an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, mandates that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.
On January 18, 2017 the Access Board, an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities, issued a final rule or “508 Refresh” that updates accessibility requirements for information and communication technology in the federal sector.
Section 508 Refresh
The Section 508 refresh jointly updates and reorganizes the Section 508 standards in response to market trends and innovations, such as the convergence of technologies. The refresh also harmonizes these requirements with other guidelines and standards both in the U.S. and abroad, including standards issued by the European Commission and with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a globally recognized voluntary consensus standard for web content and information and communication technology. Specifically, the rule references WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria and applies them not only to websites but also to electronic documents and software.
How do I become Section 508 compliant?
Section 508, an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, mandates that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. Specifically, the rule references WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria and applies them not only to websites but also to electronic documents and software.
What Technologies are Included in Section 508?
If your company falls under the jurisdiction of Section 508 compliance, the following technologies must be accessible:
- Computer software and hardware
- Mobile apps
- Videos, multimedia, and all other digital content
If I want to cancel my subscription, how much notice do I need to provide?
If you are not satisfied with your ADA Compliance service, you may cancel at any time. However, please note that if you wish to cancel in the middle of your current billing period, you will not be refunded for the remaining active days in that period.
When you cancel the subscription will go into a non-renewing state, with the service remaining active until the end of your current billing period. The subscription & service will then automatically stop at the end of that period.
For example, if you started a monthly plan on the 16th of January your billing period will run from the 16th of each month to the 15th of the following month. If you were to cancel on the 1st of the month your service and subscription would remain active until the end of day on the 15th of that month, and then both end on the 16th. Similarly for an annual subscription, your service will remain active for the remainder of that full billing year and only cancel at the end of that period.
If you are unhappy with your service, we would love to help before you make the decision to go and expose your organization to compliance risk. Please reach out to us at (305) 283-2181 or firstname.lastname@example.org