The DOJ Clarifies That the ADA covers Web Accessibility.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is making it clear once and for all: the relation between ADA and web content is undeniable, stating that with the number of online daily living activities at a steady incline, small businesses (under ADA Title III) and State and Local Governments (under ADA Title II) need to break down barriers that hinder online access to people with disabilities by ensuring that all digital assets are accessible.
Spotting Barriers to be Eliminated
The DOJ recognizes website barriers, including poor color contrast, lack of alt-text on images, missing closed captioning, inaccessible online forms, and mouse-only navigation. Barriers like these prohibit people with disabilities from accessing important corners of the web that offer information, programs, services, or products.
Businesses and government institutions can decide how they want to make their digital assets accessible. Still, the public’s programs, services, and products must meet technical standards that ensure optimal accessibility. Businesses and State & Local Governments can refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 Standards.
Prioritizing Web Accessibility
The DOJ maintains a solid position on care and concern for web accessibility practices, being outspoken on its efforts since 1996, although with some confusion limiting the public’s knowledge and awareness of accessibility requirements until its position statement today.
The DOJ has issued sample cases demonstrating its commitment to accessible digital assets as it applies to the ADA, driving home its authority over those who do not comply with the requirements that businesses and State and Local Governments should be aligned with. Sample cases that showcase the strong hand that DOJ has in prioritizing accessible web content; the Louisiana Tech and Project Civic Access examples as it applies to ADA Title II entities (State and Local Governments), and the Teachers Test Prep, Inc and Rite Aid Corporation examples as it applies to ADA Title III entities (businesses open to the public).