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The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is a piece of civil rights legislature that prohibits businesses from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Most people are familiar with the physical accommodations businesses make, but the ADA applies to the digital world as well. Under this law, websites should be as accessible as any other public place a disabled individual could enter. Ensuring your website meets ADA compliance means removing technical barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing your content. Failing to meet ADA compliance for websites could result in a potential lawsuit for your company. As a result, many companies should be adding web accessibility to their list of top priorities for 2018.
As the Internet became more prominent in the 200s, lawmakers soon realized that persons with disabilities were facing new obstacles. The Internet was simply unwelcoming to individuals with disabilities. The more the Internet dominated public and social life, the more challenges people with disabilities faced.
However, implementing and enforcing the law online isn’t the same thing as building a cement ramp outside a public library. For starters, the law does not clearly identify which websites need to be ADA compliant. Some argue that only websites that sell goods and services should meet ADA compliance.
A final decision on ADA website compliance is expected sometime in 2018. This will most likely position the WCAG as the definitive guide for web publishers and designers. We still don’t know which websites and organizations are subject to regulation by the DOJ. Website owners can get a head start by familiarizing themselves with the WCAG sooner rather than later.
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