What Does Accessible Mean?
What Does Accessible Mean?
What Does ADA Accessible Mean? Here is a plain-English Introduction.
The world-wide-web benefits everyone differently. Students at universities use it for research, stores use it to sell products, while doctors and nurses at hospitals use it to document patient vitals and take notes.
So, what does “accessible” mean for users?
For individuals with disabilities, the Internet can play a significant role in their day-to-day life. Some use it to connect with friends, stay updated on worldwide news and even use it to order supplies or to have groceries delivered to their home. Essentially, the Internet is what allows many of these individuals to have independence. There are few privileges greater than having the ability to connect with the world and achieve tasks from the comfort of your own home. However, when disability barriers occur on the websites these individuals want or need to use, it creates both a problem and a civil rights issue.
Below, we offer resources to help you quickly become familiar with web accessibility concepts and an introduction to how ADA law is working.
Learn About Web Accessibility Standards
Are You New To Accessibility? What Does “Accessible” Mean?
If you are new to accessibility compliance standards, this is a good place to start.
Are You Being Proactive?
Being proactive is a great step and tends to greatly reduce potential penalties.
Received a Letter?
If you have a received a letter of complaint, there are steps that can be taken.
Are You at Risk?
Find out if you are currently at risk by failing to comply with WCAG standards.
How Does the Law Work?
Learn more about trends in legal activity regarding digital accessibility.
Additional ADA Law And Web Accessibility Resources
Here are some additional resources for web accessibility standards & guidelines for ADA compliance.
Summary of Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was established to provide civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. Per the ADA, a person is considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits their ability to complete one or more major life activities. Currently, the disabled community is one of the largest within the world and makes up nearly a quarter of the population in the United States. In 2010, about 56.7 million people had a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
There are four main groups that disabilities can fall within — hearing impairment, vision impairment, mobility impairment and cognitive impairment. Within those four groups are a variety of unique disabilities that can affect each person differently, which can make identifying the barriers they experience online difficult and hard to access.
How Does This Relate to the Internet?
The ADA developed effective communication rights for those individuals and that is where web accessibility comes into play. When a website is accessible, not only does that mean that appropriate standards were followed to comply with Web Content Accessibility Standards (WCAG 2.1), but it also signifies that individuals with disabilities were given the ability to have equal rights.
WCAG 2.1 standards were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community that works to develop web standards and practices. WCAG 2.1 standards and ADA guidelines provide recommendations on ways to ensure web content is more accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities.
Letter of Complaint
If your organization has already received a letter of complaint, the good news is that no legal action has been taken yet. This provides you the opportunity to get ahead of the game and to address the issues that need to be corrected before the court takes control. It is important to engage with a consulting firm immediately to mitigate damages and to prevent the situation from progressing to a lawsuit. There have been reported cases where lawsuits were dismissed due to the active measures taken following the issuing of a letter of complaint. By allowing a consulting firm to recommend remedial actions, your organization can be protected as well.
Let Our Web Accessibility Consultants Help You!
When seeking any type of provider to complete a service, you want the best. If you need a car repair, you want the best mechanic. If you need updates in your home or office, you want the best carpenter. This same standard can and should hold true for your web accessibility partner. At AKEA Web Solutions, we are the leading web accessibility experts and our well-rounded team can provide complete web accessibility (WCAG) consulting services.
If you think your organization may be at risk, or if you are already faced with a letter of complaint or lawsuit, we’re prepared to provide a comprehensive, worry-free plan to assist you throughout the web accessibility process. Contact us today to learn how AKEA can help.