Is Your Website Following DOJ’s Accessibility Guidance?

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) created new guidelines for website accessibility in March. They are consistent with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, (WCAG), which help to provide communication, public accommodations and technical standards.

In short, your website needs to be accessible to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Website accessibility is generally a requirement of the ADA.

  • Negative color contrasts should be avoided
  • Showing information should not be limited to images and design
  • Text alternatives to design features or widgets
  • Captioning videos
  • Use online forms properly
  • Keyboard navigation is an option on your site
  • Plain language content

These are just a few examples of websites that have accessibility restrictions. Although the guidance from DOJ doesn’t specify what technical modifications to make, it does provide some suggestions. The guidance does mention that website accessibility enforcement will be a greater priority in the months ahead.

You can read the complete guide on the website. You will find user-friendly explanations as well as examples of websites that are not accessible. Also, you can see how the case was resolved.

What Are You Doing To Make Your Website More Accessible?

Your website should be accessible by as many people possible. This can prove difficult when there are barriers such as time and money or lack of technical knowledge and website design.

Legally, the new guidance applies to:

  • Sites for local and state government
  • Entities that are covered under ADA Title II
  • Sites are a way for businesses to open their doors to the public.
  • The ADA Title III covers entities

You are not sure whether you qualify as a Title II entity. We have discussed the Act and how it defines entities and an overview of disability discrimination.

Are you unsure if your business is a Title III public company? These guidelines will apply to all companies.

What happens if I don’t update my website?

A complaint can be filed if someone discovers that your site is not accessible according to the law. A first offense can result in a maximum penalty of $75,000, while subsequent offenses could lead to hefty fines up to $150,000.

If you receive a complaint or aren’t sure about your website issues, you can talk with an attorney who focuses on disability discrimination. You can also access free online resources that will help you check the accessibility of your website and provide a free evaluation if there are any concerns.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Talking to a lawyer is a great way for you to learn more about your rights and what your options are. To find an attorney near you, visit our directory.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.