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Americans with Disabilities Act
WCAG 2.1 - Section 508 Compliance

ADA - WCAG 2.1 FAQ

The Americans with Disabilities Act includes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and defines how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. 

Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.

These legal compliance guidelines are recognized as standard recommendations provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) effective June 5 2018.

The ADA WCAG 2.1 compliance requirements are different than traditional legislation regarding physical access to ‘’brick and mortar’’ businesses and are focused on digital access to websites that provide ‘’public accommodation’’.

On October 7 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition by Domino’s Pizza to review a ruling by the 9th Circuit for the U.S. Court of Appeals with regard to making the Domino’s Pizza website accessible to individuals with impaired vision.

‘’The ADA mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino’s, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind.” 
                                                                                          U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

According to pacer.gov, there were ‘’2,258 website accessibility-related lawsuits in 2018, up from just over 800 in 2017. Fourteen states received complaints in reference to violations of Title III of the ADA, which prohibits "places of public accommodation" from discriminating against people with disabilities.’’ 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.

In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).
While Federal, State and Local government websites MUST meet Section 508 standards, there are currently no DOJ or ADA enforceable legal standards to follow for website accessibility.

Although this is considered a ‘’gray area’’ with regard to Federal enforcement, if your business website is not ADA WCAG 2.1 compliant you could be subject to Civil ADA Discrimination lawsuits from private individuals that may have attempted to ''interact'' with your business website.

These plaintiffs are generally represented by Law firms that specialize in targeting small and medium size businesses for non-compliance litigation.

Yes, please consult your accountant and ask them to verify your eligibility for the following:

‘’ To assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all businesses. The tax credit is available to businesses that have total revenues of $1,000,000 or less in the previous tax year or 30 or fewer full-time employees. This credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in a year up to $10,250 (maximum credit of $5000). The tax credit can be used to offset the cost of undertaking barrier removal and alterations to improve accessibility; providing accessible formats such as Braille, large print and audio tape; making available a sign language interpreter or a reader for customers or employees, and for purchasing certain adaptive equipment.
The tax deduction is available to all businesses with a maximum deduction of $15,000 per year. The tax deduction can be claimed for expenses incurred in barrier removal and alterations.’’
                                                                                                                                                               
ada.gov/taxcred 
 
As the DOJ has not defined web accessibility standards it is highly unlikely to expect any enforcement action and/or fines for non-compliance from the Federal government. 

However, the DOJ and Accessibility Advocacy Groups as well as significant case law support the premise that WCAG 2.1 is a generally accepted minimum standard for all websites.

If you’re business website is not currently compliant you should consider your business at risk for civil ADA discrimination lawsuits and / or ‘’Demand Notices’’ requesting your business to achieve immediate compliance as part of a financial settlement.

Contact Guardian Law Group and request a free Pending Certificate of Performance immediately and a customized Accessibility Statement within 48 hours.

The faster you achieve compliance upon receipt of a ‘’Demand Notice” the better your negotiating position with regard to avoiding litigation and reducing any negotiated financial settlement.
Legal and Technical Expertise 

Our firm is singularly dedicated to providing technology solutions focused on achieving ADA access and CCPA privacy regulatory and legal compliance solutions.

We understand the law and more importantly how technology needs to be implemented to maintain constant compliance for maximum legal protection for your business.

Money

Our Firm recognizes cash flow is critical for every small to medium size business and regulatory compliance issues can disrupt your business operations with unplanned and significant expenses. In the past, you had two choices to achieve access and privacy compliance.  

You could either hire this in-demand skillset or outsource the project to a marketing agency or IT company that may have insufficient understanding of the laws as they pertain compliant technology solutions.

Time

We understand your time needs to be spent managing your business for growth. 

Maintaining ongoing compliance for WCAG 2.1 and / or CCPA legal obligations can be a time consuming distraction with significant legal ramifications.

Have more questions about ADA compliance?



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