What is ADA Compliance and should I worry about it?
ADA Compliance – The Americans with Disabilities Act was instituted in 1990 in an effort to end discrimination based on differing abilities. Drawing heavily from the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which established protections against discrimination based on race, religion, sex or national origin, the ADA went a step further by requiring organizations to provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees with disabilities.
There is a lot to learn and a lot of questions. There are also lots of resources out there to learn about it, so we won’t repeat it here. Here at 4M Graphics and Web Design we utilize web tools to make sure our sites are all ADA compliant and to run reports and make recommendations to our customers current sites. Let us give you a piece of mind in knowing your clear.
Who Needs To Follow These Requirements?
The ADA standards apply to commercial and public entities that have “places of public accommodation” which includes the internet. The DOJ is currently determining the specific regulations but that does not mean website discrimination will be tolerated. The DOJ’s public position was clarified in the following statement made during the Netflix case:
“The Department is currently developing regulations specifically addressing the accessibility of goods and services offered via the web by entities covered by the ADA. The fact that the regulatory process is not yet complete in no way indicates that web services are not already covered by title III.”
— Statement of Interest of the United States Department of Justice in NAD v. Netflix (page 10)
Who does the law affect?
- Americans with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers
- Private employers with 15 or more employees
- Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
- All state and local government agencies
How Does A Company Comply With The ADA?
The ADA encourages self-regulation of accessibility standards and the Department of Justice is currently developing regulations to provide specific guidance to the entities covered by the ADA. Organizations are encouraged to use the WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines as a guide on how to become accessible until the DOJ defines the regulations.