Skip Navigation | Accessibility Introduction | What is Accessibility? | Why is Accessibility Important? | W3 Consortium Guidelines | Section 508 Standards | ADA and Disabilities Guidelines | Accessibility Audit | References and Resources | Usability Introduction | InfoQuest!
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law in 1990 "prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, programs and services provided by state and local governmets, goods and services provided by private companies, and in commercial facilities."
Websites are included as a covered entity under the Act and must be accessible, according to a Department of Justice opinion letter dated September 9, 1996.
The Federal government has also finalized a set of procurement guidelines that form Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. The guidelines are largely derived from the W3C guidelines. More information can be found on the Section 508 home page.Who Must comply?
Firms that have 15 or more employees. That is the U.S. federal law, which also applies to all states. However some states havechosen to pass laws more favorable to people with disabilities. Oregon, for example, specifies that laws against discrimination toward people with disabilities apply to employers with six or more employees. Check the laws in your state to ensure compliance.
If an employee with a disability covered under the ADA, or a related state law, needs to access the firm's intranet or internet as an essential function of their job, the employee is entitled to request a reasonable accommodation.
Or, if your company is considered a "public accommodation" under Title III, then members of the public with a covered disability who access your website are entitled to equal access as are any other members of the public.
Equal access means more than just accessibility. It means giving the person communication that is as effective as that provided to others.
(The primary references for this section are Is Your Site ADA Compliant ... Or a Lawsuit-in-Waiting by Cynthia D. Waddell and Kevin Lee Thomason, and Denise M.. Spielman, ADA Program Coordinator, Independent Living Resources, Portland OR.)
How to Comply
Accessibility Introduction | What is Accessibility? | Why is Accessibility Important? | W3 Consortium Guidelines | Section 508 Standards | ADA and Disabilities Guidelines | Accessibility Audit | References and Resources | Usability Introduction | InfoQuest!
Copyright 2000-2002 InfoQuest! Information Services