What is ADA compliance?
ADA compliance refers to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act criteria.
The act, which claims to prohibit discrimination of disabled individuals in all areas of public life, is divided into five sections:
- Title I (Employment)
- Title II (State and Local Government)
- Title III (Public Accommodations)
- Title IV (Telecommunications)
- Title V (Miscellaneous Provisions)
When we talk about ADA compliance in the context of web accessibility, we're specifically referring to Title III.
Title III, which applies to almost all private entities, from hotels and restaraunts to medical facilities and retail stores.
Who must comply with the ADA?
Public accomodations are legally required to comply with Title III. So, what does Title III entail? And who is considered a public accomodation?
Title III criteria
In short, Title III has two sides:
- Public accomodations must make working conditions accessible to disabled employees.
- Public accomodations must, to a reasonable extent, make services available to disabled customers.
Title III and your web prescence
But we're here to talk web accessibility, and it just so happens that Title III extends to websites.
It used to be that only some websites were considered public accomodations, but in recent years the bottom line is that all websites are considered public accomodations and must therefore comply with ADA Title III (so long as they wish to employ or serve Americans).
Risks of Non-Compliance
Like other major web accessibility regulations, the vast majority of websites to which ADA Title III applies are not compliant. This is mostly because it's not relatively rarely enforced by the goverment.
What is much more common is disabled users sueing non-compliant websites correctly, especially because the ADA explicitly states that the defendant must cover the plaintiff's legal fees.
Worse yet, the U.S. Department of Justice has refused to establish a concrete standard, but has also regularly mentioned WCAG, which is the most widely recognized web accessibility technical standard.
So while there is room for selective enforcement, compliance with the latest WCAG standards is a wise approach for making your website(s) a much less vulernable target of ADA lawsuits.
Want us to help?
But there's no need to feel overwhelmed, as we happen to keep up with these rapidly evolving standards and regulations.
Our smart audits enable you to view your progress towards not only WCAG and ADA compliance, but many other major standards.
We also have a modular accessibility toolbar that you can customize and easily embed on your web pages to improve your website's accessibility automatically.
Disclaimer: Information on this page should not be construed as legal advice.