2021 ADA Website Compliance

2021 ADA Website compliance guide to protect your users and yourself. Do you need an ADA compliant website?

What is ADA?

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  is a civil rights law that protects the 57 million Americans with disabilities from discrimination. The law impacts jobs, education, transportation and places open to the generic public. The law was created so that people with disabilities had the same opportunities and rights as the general public. The ADA is one of the reasons we see ramps and elevators near flights of steps and braille next to the text on signs.
We will discuss these laws and how they potentially affect your website.

It’s important to note that on January 1, 2009 the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) became law and made several significant changes to the ADA.

Do I need an ADA compliant website?

The short answer is, it depends. Below are the general rules of which entities need ADA compliant websites. If the entity is:

  • Employing 15 or more employees.
  • An employment agency.
  • A labor union.
  • A labor management committee.
  • A state or local government entity.
  • An event or program of state or local government.
  • A private entity that is considered a place of public accommodation.

If any of the above are true then your website, by law, should be ADA compliant.

Do I have an ADA compliant website?

If you have to ask the question then the answer is probably “no.” However, we recommend two ways for checking if your website is ADA compliant.

DIY

W3.org, one of the leaders in web development education offers a 4 part, 13 section, 78 subsection checklist that you can use to check each element on your site for ADA compliance. It discusses everything from navigating the site with only keyboard shortcuts to text-resizing and captions on videos.

Although we encourage you to learn more about your website, this option isn’t best for everyone.

Hire MediaSmack

If the above is daunting or you just don’t have the time, let us check for you. We have a collective team with decades of experience. You can contact us by clicking here or calling us at (888) 530-2935.

What if I don’t have an ADA compliant website?

If your site is not ADA compliant and does not fall under one of the rules above, no need to worry. Most sites are not ADA compliant and don’t need to go through the additional hoops of making the site ADA compliant.  However, if your company/entity does fall under one or more of the rules above and it is not ADA compliant, you may run into legal troubles.

In a 2019 study by adatitleiii.com there were over 11,000 ADA Title III lawsuits filed.  This was an 8.8% increase from the previous year with California litigating almost half of the total lawsuits. Although some of these are justified, many of them have been labeled as “drive-by litigation” or “frivolous.” Whether the intent of the lawsuits is “justified” or “frivolous” we encourage anyone with a website to follow the law and provide productive experiences catered to their users.

Conclusion

Websites and how we build them are still a constantly changing industry. Most websites, themes and services do not build ADA compliant websites. For most instances this is ok. However, if you need help creating an ADA compliant website or have questions, contact us by clicking here or by calling us at (888) 530-2935.

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Author Greg Sanders
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