Among other things, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures access to the built environment for people with disabilities. The ADA Standards establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities subject to the law. These enforceable standards apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities.

The U.S. Access Board is responsible for developing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility standards to incorporate into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices. On January 18, 2017, the Access Board issued a final rule that updated accessibility requirements covered by Section 508, and refreshed guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. The final rule went into effect on January 18, 2018.

The rule updated and reorganized the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines in response to market trends and innovations in technology. The refresh also harmonized these requirements with other guidelines and standards both in the U.S. and abroad, including standards issued by the European Commission, and with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), a globally recognized voluntary consensus standard for web content and ICT.

There may be some possible tax incentives when performing work on your website for ADA Compliancy. Please consult with a tax professional before assuming the code applies.

In order to embrace web accessibility as a priority, you need to set goals and track your progress. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide the best available framework; published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), WCAG is the consensus standard for digital accessibility.

WCAG is based on four main principles: Content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. The guidelines — also called success criteria — provide actionable information for creating better websites and mobile applications. To provide an organized structure, the guidelines are classified into three conformance levels:

  • Level A - Considered the least strict, Level A success criteria are essential for every website. If your website doesn’t conform with WCAG Level A, it may have serious accessibility issues that prevent users with disabilities from using it.
  • Level AA - Websites that conform with WCAG Level AA can be considered reasonably accessible for most users. Most websites should aim for Level AA conformance. To meet this goal, content must conform with all Level AA and Level A success criteria.
  • Level AAA - Digital content that conforms with WCAG Level AAA is considered optimally accessible. To earn Level AAA conformance, content must pass every guideline in WCAG (including Level AA and Level A success criteria). However, some Level AAA success criteria are extremely strict, and some types of content cannot conform with every guideline at this level.


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