IT Accessibility Laws and Policies

it accessibility


Unsure what accessibility laws your business needs to comply with? Here is a short introduction to the world of accessibility laws and policies, meant to ensure everybody (including people with disabilities) have an equal access to information/services provided by businesses.

The two most important laws meant to be noted here are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA mandates businesses to make their goods/services accessible to everybody, including people who use assistive technologies such as screen readers, voice recognition software and braille displays. 

Rehabilitation Act

On the other hand, the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies that receive federal funding to make their goods/services accessible to everyone.

WCAG Guidelines

Moreover, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG Guidelines) are a set of technical guidelines used to make websites and digital content accessible to people with disabilities. Although not laws, they are widely adopted by businesses and organizations as a way to make their ADA compliant website and the Rehabilitation Act. 

The WCAG (currently WCAG 2.1) is divided into three levels of conformance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. Level A is the minimum level of conformance, required by the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Level AA is a higher level of conformance, recommended for businesses and organizations that want to provide a high level of online accessibility. Level AAA is the highest level of conformance, but is not required by law.

The ADA and the Rehabilitation Act are enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which can bring lawsuits against businesses and organizations that violate these laws. The DOJ can also issue technical assistance letters to help businesses and organizations comply.

Other organizations that enforce IT accessibility laws and policies include the U.S. Access Board, the National Disability Rights Network, the American Foundation for the Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Business Implementation

Businesses can implement these web accessibility standards by -

  • creating an accessibility policy 

  • conducting an accessibility assessment 

  • Making necessary changes to websites, software, and other IT systems, 

  • Providing auxiliary aids and services to people with disabilities, and 

  • Training employees on accessibility

It's important to note that IT and web accessibility is an ongoing process and businesses should regularly review their IT systems to ensure compliance with the latest accessibility guidelines.

Consider using Wally to help with your accessibility journey. Wally is a web accessibility platform that simplifies the process of creating an inclusive digital experience for your website. Within minutes, Wally can identify areas of your website that need improvement and provide custom codes that can be easily copied and pasted. Additionally, Wally has an option to auto-fix these codes in case you have difficulty implementing the changes.

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on the above mentioned laws in detail. By taking these steps, businesses can help to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to information and services.