Understanding ADA Compliance Requirements

WCAG 2.0 Compliance (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines) comes in three levels (less compliant to more compliant / easiest to hardest):

  • A
  • AA
  • AAA

Important Note: WCAG AAA compliance relates 100% with Section 508, which severely impacts design, performance and look / feel. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has admitted that 508 compliance (AAA) is not practical, which is why A and AA are the acceptable standards.

Revised 508 Standards

Because modern technology is constantly changing, a final rule was published by the Access Board to update standards for information and communication technology that’s covered by Section 508. The refresh is currently in effect and was just modified on March 23, 2018. It brings US standards to be in line with international standards and makes technology more accessible to all users. The revisions include:

  • focus on functionality
  • industry alignment
  • content accessibility
  • synchronized tool and text
  • expanded marketplace

Even if your organization isn’t a federal agency, it doesn’t mean you’re completely safe. Some sites may be required to be accessible through state laws, institutional laws, grant requirements, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (including agencies that receive federal funding or assistance). The refresh and other requirements are meant to better connect accessibility with modern technology.

Does my website need to meet these regulations?

If you are a business that exists to benefit the public, a local or state government agency, or are a private employer with 15 or more employees, you should be compliant with the ADA regulations. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if your physical location requires ADA compliance, chances are you’ll want to protect yourself by assuming your web presence does as well. And, a better rule of thumb to follow, whether you’re legally required to or not, abiding by these regulations creates a fair online experience for all users – disabled or not. For all other organizations, the law, as it stands, is a little bit unclear, so to be sure to avoid being dragged through an annoying lawsuit, it’s best for all commercial websites to meet these regulations.

Accessibility checklist

Our team uses some of these tools to assist as needed for our clients


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