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ADA Compliance & Website Accessibility

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SilverTech’s General Counsel, Paul Creme, and Engineering & UX Manager, Andrew Eddy, review the steps your organization needs to take to anticipate ADA compliance guidelines and avoid costly litigation.

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ADA Compliance & Website Accessibility

  1. 1. ADA Compliance & Website Accessibility © SilverTech, Inc. 2017
  2. 2. Webinar Tips ● Presentation will last 30 minutes ● Q&A to follow ● Post questions in webinar chat pane ● The slides, recording, and tools will be made available after the broadcast. ● Thank you for joining us today!
  3. 3. P R E S E N T I N G ENGINEERING & UX MANAGER Andrew Eddy Andrew leads a team of experienced designers and front-end developers, all of whom give SilverTech its competitive edge. Andrew’s extensive background in leading workshops and technical initiatives allows him to ensure that all of SilverTech’s designs are cutting edge and pushing industry norms in order to deliver the most innovative user experience for our clients. VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL Paul Creme With over 30 years of experience practicing law, Paul utilizes his extensive legal knowledge as SilverTech’s Vice President, General Counsel. With a primary focus on business and corporate matters, Paul works with senior leadership to ensure that SilverTech is consistently pursuing strategic goals as well as provides day-to-day contract review. SILVERTECH’S EXPERTS
  4. 4. 01. A Brief History of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 02. The ADA, Website Accessibility, and Lessons from Recent Cases 03. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) & Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 04. Q&A Agenda
  5. 5. A Brief History of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) © SilverTech, Inc. 2017 01
  6. 6. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990 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. 2018 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 DOJ to issue regulations regarding website accessibility 2008
  7. 7. The ADA Amendments Act Final Rule 2016 To add further clarity, the US Attorney General signed the ADA Amendments Act Final Rule on July 15, 2016 with an effective date of October 11, 2016. ● The definition of "disability" should be interpreted broadly. ● Major life activities now include the operation of major bodily functions, such as functions of the neurological, digestive, or respiratory systems. ● Due to uncertainty about the meaning of "physical and mental impairments," the term is now illustrated with the additional examples of dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  8. 8. KEY TAKEAWAY “The person making a claim may not have to carry as heavy a burden to prove their claim.”
  9. 9. Who Does The ADA Apply to? Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities ● Private employers with 15 or more employeesTitle I Title II Title III Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services ● Public entities at state and local levels which includes both physical and programmatic access to all programs and services offered Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities ● Businesses operating for the benefit of the public and non-profits
  10. 10. The ADA, Website Accessibility, & Lessons from Recent Cases © SilverTech, Inc. 2017 02
  11. 11. The ADA and Website Accessibility Statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ● The ADA's expansive nondiscrimination mandate reaches the goods and services provided by public accommodations using Internet web sites. ● Beyond goods and services, information available on the Internet has become a gateway to education, socializing, and entertainment 2015 Official guidance from the DOJ regarding website accessibility was due in 2016, but was delayed to focus on public websites covered under Title II.
  12. 12. Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ● Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. ● There is nothing in section 508 that requires private websites to comply unless they are receiving federal funds ● Commercial best practices include voluntary standards and guidelines such as the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Guidance is due in 2018 for private websites covered under Title III. In the meantime, website ADA compliance is being enforced on a case-by-case basis.
  13. 13. KEY TAKEAWAY “It is a certainty that at some point you may want to make your website ADA compliant.”
  14. 14. National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation ● Target argued that the website was not a place of public accommodation ● "It is clear that the purpose of the statute is broader than mere physical access—seeking to bar actions or omissions which impair a disabled person's 'full enjoyment' of services or goods of a covered accommodation." Key Takeaway: a website may be considered a place of public accommodation
  15. 15. National Ass’n of Deaf v. Netflix (2012) ● Netflix's "Watch Instantly" website was a public accommodation subject to the ADA even though Netflix has no physical place of public accommodation. ● "The ADA covers the services 'of' a public accommodation, not services 'at' or 'in' a public accommodation" ● The Netflix website may fit within at least one (if not more) of the categories listed in the ADA. Key Takeaway: you may not need to have a physical location to be considered covered by the ADA
  16. 16. The Settlement ● Settlement shows that the DOJ is looking closely at the accessibility of websites and mobile apps and remains aggressive in its enforcement efforts. ● At a minimum, the DOJ may require companies to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards. Key Takeaway: the DOJ is not just looking at websites, but mobile applications and other online points of access. The DOJ may view AA guidelines as the appropriate standard.
  17. 17. KEY TAKEAWAY “These recent cases may only be the beginning of the explosion of website accessibility cases.”
  18. 18. The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) & the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) © SilverTech, Inc. 2017 03
  19. 19. 1994 The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, often credited as one of the founders of the World Wide Web. 2008 The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Standards updated in WCAG 2.0, which has become an ISO International Standard for the web. 1999 “Leading the Web to its Full Potential.”
  20. 20. WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility - POUR Perceivable Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive (e.g. alt tags that say what the item actually does, like ‘Submit form Button’). ● Provide text alternatives for non-text content ● Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia ● Create content that can be presented in different ways ● Including assistive technologies, without losing meaning ● Make it easier for users to see and hear content
  21. 21. WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility - POUR Operable User interface components and navigation must be operable (e.g., you must be able to navigate the site using a keyboard as well as a mouse). ● Make all functionality available from a keyboard ● Give users enough time to read and use content ● Do not use content that causes seizures ● Help users navigate and find content
  22. 22. WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility - POUR Understandable Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable, (e.g. error messaging on a form should make sense; instead of ‘Invalid field’ messaging, use ‘The Email field must be in a valid format’). ● Make text readable and understandable ● Make content appear and operate in predictable ways ● Help users avoid and correct mistakes
  23. 23. WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility - POUR Robust Content must be robust enough so it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. In other words, don’t use tags or code that only certain browsers understand. ● Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools.
  24. 24. WCAG 2.0 Guidelines Levels A, AA, AAA ● These guidelines are organized into three levels (A, AA, AAA) with similar types of accessibility features addressed in each, but AA having more, and AAA having most criteria to meet that level of accessibility standard. ● For most organizations, the objective is to satisfy Level AA guidelines, however, some government agencies and nonprofits who serve a larger impaired audience, may work toward satisfying the majority of Level AAA guidelines (WCAG states that it is likely not possible to conform to all AAA guidelines). ● Businesses do not have to comply to all listed criteria to meet conformance, only those that apply to their website and audience.
  25. 25. WCAG 2.0 Guideline Level AA ● Captions provided for audio content ● Transcripts provided for video content ● Content headings and labels are descriptive of topic or purpose ● Ability for the user to resize text up to 200 percent ● Navigation features are consistent
  26. 26. KEY TAKEAWAY “Accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design, device independence, multimodal interaction, usability, design for older users, and search engine optimization (SEO).”
  27. 27. Best Practices for Accessible Content ● Do not rely on color as a navigational tool or as the sole way to differentiate items ● Images should include Alt text in the markup/code; complex images should have more extensive descriptions near the image ● Functionality should be accessible through mouse and keyboard and be tagged to worked with voice-control systems ● Provide transcripts for podcasts ● If you have a video on your site, you must provide visual access to the audio information through in-sync captioning ● Sites should have a skip navigation feature
  28. 28. Q&A © SilverTech, Inc. 2017 04
  29. 29. The Seven Steps to Successful Persona Creation Q: How do you address PDF documents when trying to make your website compliant? Q: What steps can I take today to make my website ADA compliant? Q: How descriptive does ALT text on images need to be? Q: Many websites when they launch are ADA compliant, but end up with violations as end-users push new content live. What recommendations do you have to maintain website compliance? Q: What tools do you recommend to check my website for ADA compliance? Q: At SilverTech, we have worked with hospitals, banks and credit unions, and universities that required Level AA WCAG compliance on their websites. Can you address any differences in ADA compliance for those in healthcare, financial services, and higher education? Questions
  30. 30. KEY TAKEAWAY “By making your website accessible, you are ensuring that all of your potential users, including people with disabilities, have a decent user experience and are able to easily access your information. By implementing accessibility best practices, you are also improving the usability of the site for all users.”
  31. 31. SILVERTECH HEADQUARTERS The Ash Street Schoolhouse 196 Bridge Street Manchester, NH 03104 CALL US: 603.669.6600 EMAIL:
  32. 32. SOURCES Slide 8: “What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?” Slide 9: “ADA Amendments Act Final Rule” Slide 11: “What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?” Slide 12: “Department of Justice (DOJ) - Fall 2015” Slide 13: “Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973” Slide 16: National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp. Slide 17: “Does the ADA Apply to Netflix? Court Says Yes” Slide 18: Peapod settles charges over website access for disabled customers Slide 21: World Wide Web Consortium Slide 22: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2..0 Slide 26: Understanding WCAG 2.0 Further articles for reference: Wuhcag. “Web accessibility for developers” VIEO Design “What is ADA Website Compliance? Financial Brand Interactive Accessibility