ADA Website Compliance: Americans with Disabilities Act

Besides the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, known as WCAG compliance, there are other critical website accessibility laws and regulations. One of them is the ADA. It plays a key role for all Americans with disabilities.

What Is ADA Compliance?

ADA is the acronym for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was first introduced in the United States in 1990. The law has a much broader scope than other laws and web accessibility standards.

It aims to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and provide equal access to various public life areas.

Why Is ADA Important?

Discrimination against people with disabilities and lack of easy access to many sectors is a huge problem. Taking social responsibility and complying with legal regulations is essential. It applies to all public authorities, as well as public and private organizations, which must improve web accessibility.

In this regard, the ADA ensures that all people with disabilities will have equal access to public and private facilities and the same rights and opportunities as all other people.

Who Should Follow ADA Requirements?

The ADA applies to various sectors, including employment, the public sector, transportation, telecommunications, state and local governments, and others. It removes barriers and supports equal opportunities for all people regardless of their capabilities.

Although the ADA does not explicitly mention digital accessibility, the Department of Justice refers to WCAG guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Considering its broad scope, it turns it into a law that must be followed by website owners as well.

How Many Criteria Are There?

The ADA includes 5 main titles that apply to different sectors and have specific requirements to achieve ADA compliance.

Title I

It covers discrimination in the workplace. People with disabilities must be provided access to the workplace. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities in hiring, promotion, compensation, working, etc. Employers must provide accommodations to enable people with disabilities to perform their job duties.

Title II

This title applies to state and local governments. It prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in various programs, activities, or services of public entities. In addition, the law mandates all governmental services to be accessible to people with disabilities, including accessible public facilities, services, and accessible communication.

Title II of the ADA requires accessibility in public transportation services, such as buses, trains, and airports. It includes provisions for wheelchair accessibility, assistance for people with disabilities, and others.

Title III

This title applies to places of public accommodation and commercial establishments such as restaurants, hotels, stores, movie theaters, doctors’ offices, etc. Its purpose is to ensure that people with disabilities have easy access to all public places, including accessible entrances, parking, restrooms, and other facilities.

Title IV

Title IV applies to all telecommunications and internet service providers. They must provide a national system that includes intrastate telecommunications relay services. It is intended to allow people with hearing impairments to communicate over the telephone. It also requires the federal government to provide closed captions for all advertising it funds.

Title V

It refers to different types of regulations, including the relationship between the ADA and other laws, the illegal use of drugs, attorney’s fees, insurance services and compensations, and more.

The ADA has had a significant impact on providing accessibility and equal rights for individuals with disabilities in the United States. It has been instrumental in increasing accessibility in public spaces, workplaces, transportation systems, and other areas of daily life.

However, a more accessible website means meeting several main criteria. They are based on the 4 WCAG principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

The ADA-compliant website is based on the following factors:

  • Alternative texts on images;
  • Audio and video transcriptions and captions;
  • Easy-to-read content;
  • Color contrast that does not irritate the eyes, especially the visually impaired users;
  • Using assistive technologies, etc.

What Happens if Your Website Isn’t Ada-Compliant?

Compliance can result in fines and lawsuits because the ADA is mandatory. It is a significant legal violation that should not be ignored.

Furthermore, if a website is not web accessible for people with disabilities, it can negatively impact an organization’s reputation. Bad user experience, limited access for people with special needs, and failure to meet the accessibility criteria lead to several problems.

They are:

  • Drop in organic traffic;
  • Losing potential audience;
  • Bad reputation;
  • Bad user journey;
  • Poor search engine performance, etc.

How Do You Check Your Website, and How Do You Make it Ada-Compliant?

To ensure that your website meets all the requirements, it is necessary to scan each page, analyze it, and check for any accessibility issues. Continuous monitoring is another crucial step in improving performance.

Our QualiBooth Accessibility checker can do all this. It is an innovative solution that will precisely scan your website every time a user visits a page. It will perform analysis and provide a detailed report, helping you understand how accessible your website is.

Differences Between ADA Compliance and Section 508 Compliance

The difference between the ADA and Section 508 compliance is in their scope. The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to private businesses and certain government entities.

On the other hand, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to all government agencies and organizations funded by federal agencies.

In addition to WCAG compliance, ADA, and Section 508, there is also AODA compliance. It stands for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which aims to ensure equal access and safety for Ontarians with special needs.

Why Trust QualiBooth for Your Accessibility Success?

QualiBooth offers you an innovative solution to improve the accessibility of your website for users with disabilities.

Continuous checking and monitoring provide you with detailed information about accessibility errors. It enables you to know the current website performance and what changes need to be made to improve accessibility.

Some of the most significant benefits of the QualiBooth accessibility checker are:

  • Quick software implementation within minutes;
  • Easy data interpretation;
  • Continuous tracking of pages each time users visit them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ADA Compliance Mandatory for Websites?

There is no explicit mention anywhere in the law that a website must comply with the ADA. However, the Department of Justice relies on WCAG compliance under the ADA, which means you are penalized if your website is not compliant. Therefore, meeting all web accessibility requirements is mandatory.

What Is the Fine for a Website Not Being Ada-Compliant?

If you have your first ADA compliance violation, the fine may range between $50,000 and $75,000. For a second violation, the penalty increases to about $150,000.

How Do I Make My Website Ada-Compliant?

To be ADA-compliant, you must follow the 5 titles. It is also important to consider the four principles of WCAG: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.