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ADA Compliance Website

Does the ADA apply to Websites and Other Technology?
Yes… and no. The ADA Title III requires that “places of public accommodations” be accessible to people with disabilities. The law was written before the digital versions of banking, shopping, and entertainment existed. There have been attempts to bring the text of the ADA up to date with modern technology, but those are currently on hold. However, the absence of clear and specific regulations has not stopped a flood of demand letters from plaintiffs’ attorneys or stood in the way of a growing number of lawsuits and settlements under the ADA for inaccessible technology. You can read more about demand letters and settlements.
How do people with disabilities use technology?
It’s okay if you don’t have any idea how a blind person uses an iPhone or surfs the internet. There’s a series of helpful articles dedicated to demystifying the world of assistive technology, which bridges the gap between a person’s abilities and the content they want to access. For instance, when a person who is blind uses an iPhone they can enable a screen reader in iOS called VoiceOver. With VoiceOver on, a layer of audio feedback is added to help the person navigate between and within apps. VoiceOver also reads the content on the screen. To see it in action, watch Leveler Meaghan use a screen reader to browse Twitter.
What makes technology accessible and ADA compliant?
Let’s use a website as an example. When a website is accessible, it can be used by: Someone who is blind and uses software that reads content and navigation out loud Someone who is deaf and relies on captions when they watch videos Someone with hand tremors who uses voice command software instead of a keyboard & mouse When coded correctly, a site works for all of these people. But oftentimes, websites are not developed with accessibility best practices in mind. Sometimes its an honest oversight due to lack of training. Sometimes it’s a long term goal pushed to “later.” Either way, people with disabilities are running into barriers when they use the web, and those barriers are preventing them from banking, shopping, reading the news, communicating with friends and family, and so much more.
Why should businesses invest in making their technology accessible?
It reduces legal risk. If you haven’t received a complaint yet it’s likely only a matter of time before you do. Proactive, documented efforts to make your technology accessible are the best defense against legal action.
It increases market reach. Estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans has a disability that affects their daily life. Technology is a big part of daily life.
It helps sell more products. If you sell technology B2B or B2G, having an accessibility conformance report will rank your product higher in the minds of your buyers, especially in highly regulated industries or the government.
It’s the right thing to do. Just as you’d remove physical barriers to your place of business, you should also remove digital barriers for people with disabilities.
It benefits everyone, not just people with disabilities. Accessibility best practices go hand-in-hand with better user experiences for everyone who interacts with your technology.

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