ADA compliance stipulates that websites allow everyone to experience the full range of content and services they provide. As more functions move online, the need to serve every citizen with an accessible website becomes more crucial.
It’s one reason why 360Civic created "ADA for Public Sector Websites: Why Compliance is Essential and What is Required to Achieve It." Read it for free here.
What’s the best way to get into compliance? We think getting the help of experts (yes, like us) offers the most efficient solution. But some entities set out to bring their site up to speed without help.
That’s what one sheriff’s office in Georgia set out to do. Nine months later, they’re still trying, and the site is still offline.
“We’re pretty good at law enforcement,” the sheriff said, “but we’re probably not the best computer people in the world.”
That sentence probably describes 95% of the people who work for government sites – they’re great at the jobs they are paid to do, but this is not a field in which they have any experience. And the IT folks they do have on the payroll already have plenty to keep them busy.
But give that sheriff’s department credit for one thing – they recognize the importance of ADA, and the potential repercussions of not being compliant, which include lawsuits and fines.
Many ADA compliance suits have been filed against government websites since federal district courts in Florida and New York ruled in 2017 that business websites failing to meet web-content accessibility guidelines may violate Title III of the ADA. Juan Carlos Gil, a blind man who lives in Miami, has filed more than 100 such lawsuits. His 2017 case against Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. laid the groundwork in Florida, allowing more ADA website suits to follow.
It’s not an easy task, getting these sites to where they need to be, but it’s one that must be done. So school districts and water districts and municipalities work in their spare time to slowly update all of the text and graphics and other elements that must be presented in a way that is understandable for those with physical, vision or hearing disabilities.
If you are on that path, best of luck. If you need some help, that’s why we’re here. You can start by downloading a free copy of our white paper. And then if you believe your site may need to be reassessed for compliance, contact us.