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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3. P R E S E N T I N G
ENGINEERING & UX MANAGER
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
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
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
6. The Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA)
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.
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
7. The ADA Amendments Act
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
● 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).
9. Who Does The ADA Apply to?
Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities
● Private employers with 15 or more employeesTitle I
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local
● Public entities at state and local levels which includes both
physical and programmatic access to all programs and services
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations
and in Commercial Facilities
● Businesses operating for the benefit of the public and non-profits
11. The ADA and Website
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
● Beyond goods and services, information available on the Internet has
become a gateway to education, socializing, and entertainment
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. 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
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. KEY TAKEAWAY
“It is a certainty that at some point you
may want to make your website
14. National Federation of the
Blind v. Target Corporation
● Target argued that the website was not a place of public
● "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
Key Takeaway: a website may be considered a place of public accommodation
15. National Ass’n of Deaf v.
● Netflix's "Watch Instantly" website was a public accommodation
subject to the ADA even though Netflix has no physical place of public
● "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. The DOJ-Peapod.com
● Settlement shows that the DOJ is looking closely at the accessibility of
websites and mobile apps and remains aggressive in its enforcement
● 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
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was
founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, often
credited as one of the founders of the World
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
“Leading the Web to its
20. WCAG 2.0 Principles of
Accessibility - POUR
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. WCAG 2.0 Principles of
Accessibility - POUR
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. WCAG 2.0 Principles of
Accessibility - POUR
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. WCAG 2.0 Principles of
Accessibility - POUR
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. 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
● 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. WCAG 2.0 Guideline
● Captions provided for audio content
● Transcripts provided for video content
● Content headings and labels are descriptive of topic or
● Ability for the user to resize text up to 200 percent
● Navigation features are consistent
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
27. Best Practices for
● 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
● Functionality should be accessible through mouse and
keyboard and be tagged to worked with voice-control
● 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
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?
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.”
Slide 8: https://adata.org/learn-about-ada “What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?”
Slide 9: https://www.ada.gov/regs2016/final_rule_adaaa.html “ADA Amendments Act Final Rule”
Slide 11: https://adata.org/learn-about-ada “What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?”
Slide 12: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/jsp/eAgenda/StaticContent/201510/Statement_1100.html “Department of Justice (DOJ) - Fall 2015”
Slide 13: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_508_Amendment_to_the_Rehabilitation_Act_of_1973 “Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973”
Slide 16: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Federation_of_the_Blind_v._Target_Corp. National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp.
Slide 17: http://smallbusiness.jdsupra.com/post/tag/natl-assn-of-the-deaf-v-netflix “Does the ADA Apply to Netflix? Court Says Yes”
Slide 18: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-peapod-justice-settlement-1119-biz-20141118-story.html Peapod settles charges over website
access for disabled customers
Slide 21: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web_Consortium World Wide Web Consortium
Slide 22: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2..0
Slide 26: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/ Understanding WCAG 2.0
Further articles for reference:
Wuhcag. https://www.wuhcag.com/ “Web accessibility for developers”
VIEO Design https://www.vieodesign.com/blog/what-is-ada-website-compliance “What is ADA Website Compliance?
Financial Brand https://thefinancialbrand.com/55509/ada-compliance-for-banking-websites/
Interactive Accessibility https://www.interactiveaccessibility.com/ada