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ADA Compliance Websites



Why Should My Organization Address This Issue?

Government agencies, non-profit organizations and public schools are receiving complaints and legal notices that they are discriminating against disabled individuals because they do not have an ADA compliant website according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 accessibility standards.

In the state of Wisconsin alone, over 260 public school districts have received formal complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office For Civil Rights (OCR) within the past few months because their website does not comply with WCAG 2.0 standards or Section 508 compliance standards.

Although the courts are still defining exactly what it means for schools to be “compliant”, under the existing laws about discriminating against disabled individuals, these formal complaints and cases often focus on whether the school district took appropriate steps to ensure web accessibility.

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What Steps Should My Organization Take?

There is no making a “good faith” attempt to address your organization’s web accessibility issues, your organization must comply with WCAG 2.0 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). To make sure your organization’s website is in compliance, consider the following steps.

STEP ONE

Analyze your website to see if it complies with:

86 tests covering A, AA,
and AAA guidelines

The WCAG 1.0 guidelines were published in 1999, and explain how to make web content accessible to people with disabilities.

118 tests covering A, AA,
and AAA guidelines

WCAG 2.0 was published in 2008, and covers a wide range of recommendations for making your web content more accessible. It covers a wider range of disabilities than WCAG 1.0 including: blindness and low vision, learning disabilities, speech disabilities, deafness and hearing loss, cognitive limitations, limited movement, photosensitivity and combinations of these.

55 tests covering
15 guidelines

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (amended 29 U.S.C. 794d) requires that US Federal employees with disabilities have access to information comparable to employees without disabilities.


STEP TWO

Generate a report that identifies the areas of your website that are not compliant.


STEP THREE

Develop an action plan that prioritizes the issues that need to be fixed and how to best maintain compliance. This includes developing an action plan for training your staff that generate web content moving forward to be focused on web accessibility for all users. Your action plan should attempt to balance the cost of enacting the changes and how the changes will affect overall website usability for all users.


STEP FOUR

Fix the issues that were found with your website. This often involves working with the vendor or internal team that created your website to ensure they understand the web accessibility standards and guidelines and are trained on how to best address them.


STEP FIVE

Continue to monitor your website for future issues. Since most website content is constantly changing, we highly recommend repeating the testing process from time to time to address issues and train any new staff on the rules and best practices surrounding accessibility. This reporting should be stored with your perinate records to again help reinforce to outside parties your efforts to make your organization’s website ADA accessible.


How Foremost Media Can Help My Organization?


As a website development vendor for public school districts, non-profit organizations and government agencies, we have prior experience with this process.

We can help you take the steps outlined above to identify and correct your website accessibility issues. Once the issues are corrected, we can work with your team to provide training on how to continue to monitor for accessibility issues going forward and how to correct them.

Being proactive about your web accessibility enables you to respond and defend against compliance-related legal demands. Choosing not to address your website’s accessibility issues could cost your organization’s funding or harm its reputation.

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