Unfortunately, the vast majority of websites aren’t accessible to many people with a wide range of disabilities. Because of this, many people have no access to many of the things that most people take for granted.

Up to 15% of the world’s population suffers from some form of disability. As a result, existing laws protecting people with disabilities have expanded to include websites, mobile devices, and other technologies.

Accessibility compliance in the digital realm is now required under current laws in the United States, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and similar laws in other countries that ensure all people can have access to content, which is necessary for functioning in modern society.

Who Is Responsible for Website Accessibility?

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Pixelplex.io

While many people with disabilities use a wide range of technologies to help assist the process, it’s the responsibility of web developers and designers to create structures that make it possible to use these tools.

This applies not just to government and public services but also to any business that provides services, including lodging, food or beverages, public gathering places, businesses providing items for sale or rental, services, recreation, education, and more. Access to these activities, services, and products is recognized as a civil right.

If your website provides services in any one of the above categories, theoretically you could be liable for ensuring that you haven’t provided any barriers to access.

What Are the Web Accessibility Laws?

Many countries have established laws protecting the rights of disabled people online, and there are sometimes multiple laws that need to be applied when considering the web accessibility of your site. In the United States alone, there is the ADA, which has been in effect since 1990 but has since been expanded to include access to the internet.

There is also Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which applies to government websites. There are also other laws that need to be adhered to, such as Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which relates to telecommunications devices like mobile phones.

Title II of the ADA requires that public governments must not refuse access to services based on having a disability, and they must provide programs to help people overcome these difficulties. You may be thinking, “how does this impact private businesses?” Title III of the ADA addresses this, stating that these kinds of rules are applicable to private businesses as well.

The U.S. doesn’t stand alone with the creation of laws to protect people with disabilities. In the United Kingdom, there is the Equality Act of 2010, which is a framework for providing accessible products. There are laws in many more countries that take this seriously as well. Here is a more comprehensive list of countries that have established some form of web accessibility laws.

Who Do the Web Accessibility Laws Benefit?

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Source: Pixelplex.io

Many different categories of people are represented by these laws. However, anyone who has a physical or mental disability may be represented. These disabilities include those related to:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Motor functions
  • Cognition and understanding
  • Senior citizens
  • Independent living
  • Self-care

The laws exist to make sure that people with these conditions are given access to the same sorts of goods and services as everyone else.

How To Comply With U.S. Web Accessibility Standards

As a general rule, inclusion should be the model for how you design your site. Make sure that as many people as possible can access your services or products. By paying attention to making sure that there are methods of obtaining information and acting upon it for all of the above categories, you’ll be working to make sure your site is compliant.

Make Sure Your Site Is Navigable by People Who Use Only a Keyboard

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