As a business or company you may have heard the term “ADA compliant,” but do you really know what it means and how to properly implement it?

The U.S. Department of Justice published the Standards of Accessible Design in September 2010. These standards stated that all electronic information and online technology be accessible to people with disabilities, including computer hardware program software and documentation.

Interactive Accessibility said, “The ADA standards apply to commercial and public entities that have ‘places of public accommodation’ which includes the internet.”

Essentially, the law affects:

  • Americans with disabilities and their friends, families, and caregivers
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
  • All state and local government agencies

Information on the American Disabilities Act

Basically, the ADA provides people with disabilities “equal opportunity.” (Introduction to the ADA)

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities and guarantees the same opportunities as everyone else. These opportunities include employment possibilities, purchasing of goods and services and the ability to participate in State and local government programs.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race, color, religion, sex, or national origin discrimination, was a starting guide for the ADA, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Being ADA Compliant

Accessible Technology is broken down into the following categories on the ADA website:

  • Enforcement
    • The Department’s ADA enforcement efforts have helped to ensure that people with disabilities can access Web sites, electronic book readers, online courses, and point-of-sale devices.
  • Technical Assistance and Guidance
    • The Department has developed technical assistance and guidance to help covered entities understand their ADA obligations with regard to accessible technology.
  • Regulations Development
    • The ADA broadly protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in employment, access to State and local government services, places of public accommodation, transportation, and other important areas of American life.
    • The ADA directs the Attorney General to promulgate regulations to carry out the provisions of Titles II and III.
  • Other Federal Initiatives
    • The Department provides a list of other federal accessible technology resources and initiatives.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) established the main international standards and accessibility for the World Wide Web. The WCAG is created by the W3C to provide a standard for web content accessibility that can be shared around the world. The WCAG is meant to accompany organizations as a sort of blueprint on how to make their websites ADA compliant.

The Web Accessibility Initiative said, “Web ‘content’ generally refers to the information in a web page or web application, including natural information such as text, images, and sounds and code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.”

What This Means for You

Businesses and companies can comply with the ADA by performing self-regulations of the accessibility standards on their websites. The ADA encourages the use of the WCAG to help your website become accessible for people with disabilities. (Interactive Accessibility)


Here are a few additional resources to help your business or company be ADA compliant:

  • Accessibility of Websites PDF
    • ADA Compliance overview provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Website Accessibility Checklist
    • This is a comprehensive checklist to let you know how to build your website in a way that’s accessible for people with disabilities.  If you’re using modern web standards you may already be close to achieving compliancy.  It’s not super hard, just detailed.
  • Making Files Accessible Checklist
    • When making an ADA compliant site you need to ensure all the files you link to from your site also meet the accessibility standards.  This checklist will help you adjust files into a compliant format.
  • Color Contrast Checker
    • Color contrast allows those with color blindness and other disabilities of sight to read your content with ease.  This checker allows you to input foreground and background color values and returns a readability rating.

More about the Author

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Monica Pitts

Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.

© MayeCreate Design 2021 | 573-447-1836 | [email protected] |108 E. Green Meadows Rd., Ste. 9 | Columbia, MO 65203

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