Accessibility law in the U.S

Most of us know that federal web sites in the United States must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for web accessibility.

Many people overlook the fact that any non-federal entity that receives federal monies needs to comply with Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act) to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. This includes any university, city, county, and state government which receives federal funding. Although the sites do not have to be 508-compliant specifically, adhering to Section 508 requirements can be used as an easy and more thorough method of meeting Section 504 obligations.

Most states have passed some type of policy, standard or law on web accessibility. States have adopted standards as defined by Section 508, the W3C, a mix of the two, or developed their own standards.

Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 also addresses web-related accessibility issues. The Act requires telecommunications products and services (including computers with modems and internet connections) to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Note that a phone number or other means as a work-around for an inaccessible web site does not satisfy Section 508.

Learn more here (ITTATC)

2 replies on “Accessibility law in the U.S”

Everyone should at least make an effort to be 508-compliant. I find that pages are cleaner and more crisp for all users when accessibility standards are in place.

Most accessibility requirements are just about good usability. It’s about making your site work for everyone. Really, Section 508 compliance is easy, it’s WCAG II and III that get a little tricky sometimes though not impossible.

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