Here is a big ADA (Disability act) issue that is running below the radar. It appears that this ‘rule’ could effect even small bloggers who run links to Amazon to sell a few items, or link to a business.
This question was sent to me by reader Comrade Matrix
Question for you…have you heard about this website requirement?
We just got a call from one of our Dealers. He asked if we knew that websites had to be ADA compliant. I had not heard of this before, but apparently he is being sued by a law firm because his is not. His website is fairly new so I was surprised. Is this for real?
Yes, Virginia, there is going to be requirements that websites must be ADA compliant. Looks like the target date is April 16, 2016. Though the DOJ is already settling cases including massive fines.
…making a website accessible to disabled users centers on design and functionality. The complexity of achieving this objective varies by the “type of content, the size and complexity of the site, and the development tools and environment,” according to the World Wide Web Consortium. But hundreds of design options exist to make a website accessible; WGAC 2.0 [the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines] alone provides 206 options. These include, but are not limited to, providing links to definitions, removing time limits for activities, providing spoken word versions of text, and ensuring keyboard control for all website functions.
As I’ve said more than once, I view the Department of Justice’s much-delayed plans to mandate “accessibility” of websites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as perhaps the single most under-reported and alarming regulation that I know of in the federal pipeline. Here is a June rundown from Porter Wright attorneys Bob Morgan and Melissa Barnett of the state of play on the issue. It notes, as has our coverage, that even without getting around to issuing regs, DoJ is busy using ADA settlements to impose its views of accessibility on businesses it sues.