Website Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act
In March we launched our new website, and we’ve received many positive comments on the new look, and ease of the online process to take courses and apply for certifications. One thing we didn’t mention is that the site is ADA compliant. As your industry association, we feel it is important to keep you up to date on this issue so you can meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Justice.
What does being compliant mean, and how does it affect you?
Mary Gillen, Associate Member who has 20+ years of experience in web development, informed us that “until now, website accessibility hasn’t been a big concern for most business owners and marketers. But legislative changes will soon be in place.By 2018, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to roll out official compliance guidelines concerning online accessibility for the disabled as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The DOJ will soon be expecting all websites (Federal government, state/local government, and private companies) to accommodate people with disabilities. Whether the DOJ will implement web accessibility standards is not a matter of if, but when.
“Waiting until it’s the law may still make any organization legally vulnerable in the meantime if they are not in compliance, as organizations such as Peapod, Target, Reebok, and the NBA have already found out. All of them have already been sued for website accessibility non-compliance.
“In the last year online businesses have faced a wave of demand letters and lawsuits alleging that their websites are inaccessible to the visually impaired and/or hearing impaired in violation of Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”).”
What this means is that every website will be required to be ADA compliant. Some of our members have already met these requirements. We recommend that you not wait until 2018 is near, as all web developers will be overburdened with this task. Additional information will be in next month’s newsletter. If you want to begin planning now, contact your web developer or email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a phone call to discuss your website.