There is no section in the Americans with Disabilities Act that tells us how to make a website compliant.
But we can follow two best practices: the- one best practice is to make sure- ensure that your website provides meaningful access and a way to do this is conformance with the web content accessibility guidelines or WCAG.
And then you also want to have an accessibility statement published conspicuously on your website.
So typically this means that there’s a link with the anchor text accessibility statement and within that accessibility statement you state a commitment to accessibility but you also provide at least one means of contact for support or to provide feedback.
So let’s talk about meaningful access. That’s the standard for Title III of the ADA it’s not- it’s not necessarily perfect accessibility but it’s such that if someone with a disability were to use your website – any user is going to be able to effectively use that website.
And so yes there may be there may be some slight issues but on the whole the website is usable and now that’s not the official legal definition, but I’m trying to give it this to you in plain terms because this is a this is a- an uncertain ground, right it’s not, not everything is clear and concise.
But generally you want to make sure that your website is able to be used by people with different disabilities people that have different degrees of disabilities and- and different assistive technology so if you can if you can make that possible then your website is going to likely provide meaningful access
Now the reason why you would- it’s best practice to conform to the web content accessibility guidelines and at that version 2.1 conformance level AA is because this is going to- these are these are independent standards- technical standards that have been established, are internationally recognized, and they do a great part of ensuring accessibility and you would have a hard time not providing meaningful access if you were in full conformance with these technical standards.
So that’s where you want to be at, but the other side of this is the practical side when we talk about ADA compliance in terms of digital accessibility we’re largely looking to prevent private litigation.
And so there are a number of law firms who were involved in this space and have carved out a business out of sending demand letters or filing complaints against websites- owners, operators, controllers of websites or mobile apps so we want to make sure that there- that we can make that- that our websites are free of any issues that are commonly found in those complaints or cited in demand letters so that’s really what most people that are watching this video are after is making sure that- that litigation is prevented.
And so that’s the practical reality. Obviously, the utopian part of this is that people want to ensure that their digital assets and their digital experience is accessible because it’s- it’s what they should be doing, but of course we want to prevent litigation alongside of that – I’m well aware of that and I can tell you that the web content accessibility guidelines – if you’re in conformance with them – which is not it’s not necessary that’s usually not an easy task to do it does it is it is an endeavor it is a project that’s going to likely last several weeks if not months depending on your digital asset – but if you’re in conformance with those technical standards then it’s going to be really, really difficult for your website materially not to be ADA compliant