Understanding the basic philosophy of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) accessibility standards. The United Nations has stated that access to information is a basic human right. This is the basic tenet of accessibility. All information, especially digital information, should be easily available to any person, regardless of ability or technology. Laws, standards, and guidelines outline how making information accessible is accomplished. The most widely accepted standards are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG is an international set of rules… Continue Reading The 4 Pillars of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
A 5-year mission In 2014, Guillermo Robles claimed that Domino’s website was inaccessible and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Robles, who is blind, was unable to order a pizza using the same features as a sighted person. This Domino’s lawsuit has been going on for five years. It’s been to California federal district court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and back to the California federal district court, where it has been ruled upon in a… Continue Reading Robles v Domino’s lawsuit explained – 2021 update
Section 508 was added to the ADA in 1998, requiring all federal government agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible. However, the extent to which these digital accessibility requirements have been enforced is unclear. Every two years, Section 508 requires federal agencies to self-report to the Department of Justice on how their website achieves accessibility standards. The Attorney General then presents these to the President and Congress along with suggestions on how the websites could improve.… Continue Reading How the White House may Influence Digital Accessibility
Canada’s recent strides towards a more accessible country, headed by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, have produced a number of new accessibility regulations. The Canadian Human Rights Act has historically prevented discrimination against protected classes, including people with disabilities, by federally regulated organizations since 1985. But these more recent laws go beyond just discouraging discrimination to require organizations- often both public and private- to actively remove barriers to Canadian accessibility. National Laws… Continue Reading What You Need to Know about Canadian Accessibility Laws
ADA lawsuits focus on digital environments When COVID pushed work and school online, website traffic increased significantly. As consumers visited more websites, it became clear that many companies had focused their attention on physical accessibility but neglected to make their websites digitally accessible. That resulted in a dramatic increase in ADA lawsuits in the digital environment. The total number of ADA lawsuits in 2020 fell 1% from 11,053 in 2019 to 10,982 in 2020. But among those cases, the number… Continue Reading ADA Lawsuits in 2020: Website Accessibility Lawsuits Rise Significantly
If you have a website, California’s Unruh Act AND ADA Title III affect you. You could face lawsuits under both the Unruh Act and the ADA Title III if a California resident can’t access information on your website. California is second only to New York for ADA Title III lawsuits, comprising more than 25% of the 3550 cases in 2020. One contributing factor is the Unruh Act, which is a California state accessibility law prohibiting discrimination against state residents, imposes… Continue Reading How do ADA Title III and California’s Unruh Act affect your website?
ADA Title III digital accessibility lawsuits skyrocketed to 3550 cases in 2020, an increase of more than 20% over 2019. Nearly half of those lawsuits were filed in New York. While people weren’t visiting physical places of public accommodation due to COVID, consumers visited their websites. New York considers websites of places of public accommodation to also be protected by ADA Title III. New York leads the country in ADA Title III lawsuits for a number of reasons. 70% of… Continue Reading ADA Title III Lawsuits Soar in New York: Here’s How to Avoid Them
Ten years ago, Donna Jodhan filed a digital accessibility lawsuit against the federal government of Canada. She had been unable to independently apply for a job on its website using her assistive technology. Since her landmark victory in that case, Canada has been working towards increased accessibility in both physical and digital environments. Ontario has been particularly progressive in this regard, legislating the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA is a mandate to create and enforce accessibility… Continue Reading Updated AODA Deadlines: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t
Online Accessibility Act On October 2, 2020, Congressmen Lou Correa (D-CA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced a bill called the Online Accessibility Act. This legislation provides direction on website accessibility. It proposes the development of regulations, along with a new procedure for handling complaints about non-compliance. It aims to reduce the number of accessibility lawsuits that have been rising annually. While fewer lawsuits and clear regulations sound appealing, this legislation is not all good news for people with disabilities. How… Continue Reading Online Accessibility Act – Yea or Nay?
The tech industry has the ability to make the world a significantly more accessible place for everyone. Groceries, prescriptions, clothes, and other household items can be delivered to your door in just a few clicks. TV shows can be captioned. Books can be read aloud. Smart speakers can tell you whatever you want to know by simply asking a question. Impressive accessibility advances can sometimes overshadow less exciting accessibility features like an accessible website and PDF files. PDFs, for example,… Continue Reading ADA Compliance for the Tech Industry