ADA Web Site Compliance Are You Ready? The DoJ is looking

Think you have no concerns over accessibility because your business is online so you don’t need a ramp?

Well, think again!

Although the rules have been in place almost since the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, look to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, to begin applying the accessibility rules to Web sites beginning this June according to page 30 of The Economist magazine, April 25-May1, 2015.

Not only that but simply being on good terms with your customers isn’t enough, a 2013 appeals court ruling said you can be sued for violations even by non customers (such as money grubbing lawyer) so watch out if you are based in any U.S. jurisdiction.

Among other things the ADA rules require that your web site be fully usable to visually impaired – that means that while they are required to have text to speech and text to Braille hardware, YOU (the Web site owner) are required to have an ALT text tag on EVERY photograph, meaningful image, or tag such as your Facebook button.

ada compliance
ADA Compliance

I’m the author of Computers and the Americans With Disabilities Act : A Manager’s Guide to Adaptive Office Technology. With a forward by Paul Hazan, Chair, National Search for Computer Technology to Aid the Handicapped. Hardback AND Paperback, 1994, Windcrest/McGraw-Hill. This is mostly outdated today although much of the technology is, unfortunately, about the same as is still available today.

I’m NOT recommending you buy the book but I mentioned it so you know I have decades of experience in the field of ADA compliance.

Every big company and any which can afford even a small monthly fee for some protection should have an ADA compliance officer under contract to watch for obvious problems.

Mere Web experience isn’t the question, I advised a Harvard branch that their site wasn’t in compliance even though it was designed by the same person who taught Web design at Harvard.