That’s good news if you are one of the many Americans who have a visual, hearing, or mobility disability that makes it difficult to access some information on the web. If you are a business owner who hasn’t made provisions to ensure that your website and other online assets are ADA compliant, you could be looking at a host of legal and financial penalties.
Courts have essentially taken three positions when approached with this issue. Some courts take the position that the ADA applies to all commercial sites because the law was meant to protect disabled individuals from having a more difficult time than able-bodied individuals from doing business. That is why the website Scribd was unable to get a case summarily dismissed and ended up settling.

This past September marked the first time a judge ruled that the ADA applies even to businesses without a physical location. Scribd, an e-book subscription service is considered to provide "a place of public accommodation." Their services are not accessible to blind persons because they cannot be read with a screen reader. The judge reasoned, "Now that the Internet plays such a critical role in the personal and professional lives of Americans, excluding disabled persons from access to covered entities that use it as their principal means of reaching the public would defeat the purpose of this important civil rights legislation."


Ensure that in-house staff and contractors responsible for webpage and content development are properly trained. Distribute the Department of Justice technical assistance document “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities” to these in-house staff and contractors on an annual basis as a reminder. This technical assistance document is available on the ADA Home Page at www.ada.gov.
This past September marked the first time a judge ruled that the ADA applies even to businesses without a physical location. Scribd, an e-book subscription service is considered to provide "a place of public accommodation." Their services are not accessible to blind persons because they cannot be read with a screen reader. The judge reasoned, "Now that the Internet plays such a critical role in the personal and professional lives of Americans, excluding disabled persons from access to covered entities that use it as their principal means of reaching the public would defeat the purpose of this important civil rights legislation."
Thank you so much Jeremy for this article. it's a life saver. I was so lost on this issue. What I get from this article is clear. When you're small, focus on building your brand first then invest in a 'expert' website after you have proven you have a viable profitable business. I even had a look at some of the 'top' competitors in my field and boy Wix will just do guys. Your business is NOT your website. Business creates websites. Websites DON'T create business!
Just as you wouldn’t trust an overweight personal trainer or a skinny chef, you should probably never trust a designer with an ugly looking website or an SEO specialist who doesn’t rank well on Google or an “internet marketer” who uses direct outreach to generate leads. And by that I mean, if someone is selling you the idea of getting traffic through Google or Pay Per Click or Social Media, but they’re using cold outreach, like, they’re direct emailing you or they’re using word of mouth to get in contact with you, they’re really not practicing what they preach.
Hey Casey, this is one of the areas where things get a little weird because the W3 doesn’t actually have any say over the ADA guidelines, it is more than the ADA guidelines adopted the WCAG 2.0 guidelines as just that, a guideline to help. As far as I know, the tool you’ve linked to hasn’t been used in any judgements I’m aware of. Usually when it comes down to making a decision on if something is/isn’t compliant they have people use the actual PAWS tools and show what elements do/don’t work as intended or are otherwise inaccessible. Hope this helps!
Now you know that some types of content and format on webpages can pose barriers for people with disabilities. The next steps are to develop an action plan to fix web content that is currently inaccessible and implement procedures to ensure that all new and modified web content is accessible. The website accessibility checklist included in this section helps you assess what needs to be done.
The ADA guidelines provide the foundation that organizations need to achieve digital accessibility best approaches, however they are not exhaustive. They do not provide direction for all of the accessibility challenges that people with disabilities face. They also fail to provide detailed technical instructions. With these limitations in mind, there is a ray of hope.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services. As it relates to employment, Title I of the ADA protects the rights of both employees and job seekers. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services. Title IV, which is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.

Because they only read text, screen readers and refreshable Braille displays cannot interpret photographs, charts, color-coded information, or other graphic elements on a webpage. For this reason, a photograph of a mayor on a city’s website is inaccessible to people who use these assistive technologies, and a blind person visiting the website would be unable to tell if the image is a photo, a logo, a map, a chart, artwork, a link to another page, or even a blank page.


The ADA guidelines are often updated so that businesses can better understand how various disabilities can affect the way that people will interact with websites and digital content. The guidelines also explain why certain barriers can prevent disabled individuals from using or even accessing a website. With these goals in mind, it is important to note that organizations need to review the guidelines on a yearly basis. New technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence10, are being used to help people with disabilities get the most out of the digital world. If organizations fail to read the latest ADA guidelines, then they will soon discover that their approach to web accessibility is outdated, and they might be in violation of digital accessibility laws.

ADA website compliance is about making sure that everyone has equal access to all the elements on your website and apps. That may mean you need to provide alternatives for some of the functions and content on your site in order to meet ADA website compliance standards. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the accommodations that need to be incorporated into your website to meet the ADA guidelines:
Currently, the law is a little bit murky when it comes to ADA compliance on a website. Courts have been interpreting ADA in various ways when it comes to website compliance. Some courts have stated that any US business must have an ADA-compliant website. Some courts have said that the website must have a “nexus” to a physical location which must be ADA compliant before their website must also be compliant. This is why Facebook was able to dismiss a 2011 ADA case in California, but Home Depot was no...
People with disabilities may use a number of special tools to interact with websites such as: screen readers, speech recognition software, touch screen devices, captioning devices (for video content), Braille, screen magnifiers, alternative keyboard devices, and head pointers. It is important to make sure your website complies with standards that make it possible for those with diverse disabilities to successfully interact with your website. 
!function(e){function n(t){if(r[t])return r[t].exports;var o=r[t]={i:t,l:!1,exports:{}};return e[t].call(o.exports,o,o.exports,n),o.l=!0,o.exports}var t=window.ansWebpackJsonpFunction;window.ansWebpackJsonpFunction=function(n,r,i){for(var s,u,l=0,a=[];l1)for(var t=1;tp)return!1;if(d>f)return!1;var e=window.require.hasModule("shared/browser")&&window.require("shared/browser");return!e||!e.opera}function u(){var e="";return"quora.com"==window.Q.subdomainSuffix&&(e+=[window.location.protocol,"//log.quora.com"].join("")),e+="/ajax/log_errors_3RD_PARTY_POST"}function l(){var e=i(h);h=[],0!==e.length&&c(u(),{revision:window.Q.revision,errors:JSON.stringify(e)})}var a=t("./third_party/tracekit.js"),c=t("./shared/basicrpc.js").rpc;a.remoteFetching=!1,a.collectWindowErrors=!0,a.report.subscribe(r);var f=10,p=window.Q&&window.Q.errorSamplingRate||1,h=[],d=0,m=o(l,1e3),y=window.console&&!(window.NODE_JS&&window.UNIT_TEST);n.report=function(e){try{y&&console.error(e.stack||e),a.report(e)}catch(e){}};var w=function(e,n,t){r({name:n,message:t,source:e,stack:a.computeStackTrace.ofCaller().stack||[]}),y&&console.error(t)};n.logJsError=w.bind(null,"js"),n.logMobileJsError=w.bind(null,"mobile_js")},"./shared/globals.js":function(e,n,t){var r=t("./shared/links.js");(window.Q=window.Q||{}).openUrl=function(e,n){var t=e.href;return r.linkClicked(t,n,e),window.open(t).opener=null,!1}},"./shared/links.js":function(e,n){var t=[];n.onLinkClick=function(e){t.push(e)},n.linkClicked=function(e,n,r){for(var o=0;o>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0,r=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,o=0;o>>0;if(0===o)return-1;var i=+n||0;if(Math.abs(i)===Infinity&&(i=0),i>=o)return-1;for(t=Math.max(i>=0?i:o-Math.abs(i),0);t>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=new Array(s),o=0;o>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(var r=[],o=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,i=0;i>>0,o=0;if(2==arguments.length)n=arguments[1];else{for(;o=r)throw new TypeError("Reduce of empty array with no initial value");n=t[o++]}for(;o>>0;if(0===o)return-1;for(n=o-1,arguments.length>1&&(n=Number(arguments[1]),n!=n?n=0:0!==n&&n!=1/0&&n!=-1/0&&(n=(n>0||-1)*Math.floor(Math.abs(n)))),t=n>=0?Math.min(n,o-1):o-Math.abs(n);t>=0;t--)if(t in r&&r[t]===e)return t;return-1};t(Array.prototype,"lastIndexOf",c)}if(!Array.prototype.includes){var f=function(e){"use strict";if(null==this)throw new TypeError("Array.prototype.includes called on null or undefined");var n=Object(this),t=parseInt(n.length,10)||0;if(0===t)return!1;var r,o=parseInt(arguments[1],10)||0;o>=0?r=o:(r=t+o)<0&&(r=0);for(var i;r
On July 26, 2010 (on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act) President Obama stated that ADA accessibility must also apply to the Internet. With that declaration, the Justice Department was tasked with setting rules for ADA accessibility for the Internet and websites. Since that time, the Justice Department has formulated recommended rules for ADA website accessibility. Those rules will soon be refined and officially released in the near future. Until then, there is a set of guidelines currently in place (http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref) for websites to become ADA accessible. Even with these guidelines in place, many hospitality businesses have not yet complied with the guidelines. Now is the time to begin the process of making your current website ADA accessible or to consider a new website design that is ADA accessible.
!function(e){function n(t){if(r[t])return r[t].exports;var o=r[t]={i:t,l:!1,exports:{}};return e[t].call(o.exports,o,o.exports,n),o.l=!0,o.exports}var t=window.ansWebpackJsonpFunction;window.ansWebpackJsonpFunction=function(n,r,i){for(var s,u,l=0,a=[];l1)for(var t=1;tp)return!1;if(d>f)return!1;var e=window.require.hasModule("shared/browser")&&window.require("shared/browser");return!e||!e.opera}function u(){var e="";return"quora.com"==window.Q.subdomainSuffix&&(e+=[window.location.protocol,"//log.quora.com"].join("")),e+="/ajax/log_errors_3RD_PARTY_POST"}function l(){var e=i(h);h=[],0!==e.length&&c(u(),{revision:window.Q.revision,errors:JSON.stringify(e)})}var a=t("./third_party/tracekit.js"),c=t("./shared/basicrpc.js").rpc;a.remoteFetching=!1,a.collectWindowErrors=!0,a.report.subscribe(r);var f=10,p=window.Q&&window.Q.errorSamplingRate||1,h=[],d=0,m=o(l,1e3),y=window.console&&!(window.NODE_JS&&window.UNIT_TEST);n.report=function(e){try{y&&console.error(e.stack||e),a.report(e)}catch(e){}};var w=function(e,n,t){r({name:n,message:t,source:e,stack:a.computeStackTrace.ofCaller().stack||[]}),y&&console.error(t)};n.logJsError=w.bind(null,"js"),n.logMobileJsError=w.bind(null,"mobile_js")},"./shared/globals.js":function(e,n,t){var r=t("./shared/links.js");(window.Q=window.Q||{}).openUrl=function(e,n){var t=e.href;return r.linkClicked(t,n,e),window.open(t).opener=null,!1}},"./shared/links.js":function(e,n){var t=[];n.onLinkClick=function(e){t.push(e)},n.linkClicked=function(e,n,r){for(var o=0;o>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0,r=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,o=0;o>>0;if(0===o)return-1;var i=+n||0;if(Math.abs(i)===Infinity&&(i=0),i>=o)return-1;for(t=Math.max(i>=0?i:o-Math.abs(i),0);t>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=new Array(s),o=0;o>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(var r=[],o=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,i=0;i>>0,o=0;if(2==arguments.length)n=arguments[1];else{for(;o=r)throw new TypeError("Reduce of empty array with no initial value");n=t[o++]}for(;o>>0;if(0===o)return-1;for(n=o-1,arguments.length>1&&(n=Number(arguments[1]),n!=n?n=0:0!==n&&n!=1/0&&n!=-1/0&&(n=(n>0||-1)*Math.floor(Math.abs(n)))),t=n>=0?Math.min(n,o-1):o-Math.abs(n);t>=0;t--)if(t in r&&r[t]===e)return t;return-1};t(Array.prototype,"lastIndexOf",c)}if(!Array.prototype.includes){var f=function(e){"use strict";if(null==this)throw new TypeError("Array.prototype.includes called on null or undefined");var n=Object(this),t=parseInt(n.length,10)||0;if(0===t)return!1;var r,o=parseInt(arguments[1],10)||0;o>=0?r=o:(r=t+o)<0&&(r=0);for(var i;r
Yes, all websites must have hand rails in the rest rooms, ramps in lieu of front porch stairs and elevators with doors wide enough for wheelchairs to be easily loaded into them. Seriously though, ADA only covers Americans, and the Internet is hardly just an American institution. Besides, browsers can already be configured to override the web designer’s pre-configured fonts, font sizes, font and page and page background colors, etc, to make it much easier to read. Also, the big 3 Operating Systems (MS Windows, MAC, and Linux) have text-to-speech programs which will allow the computer to read...
×