ADA Title II & Title III Requirements for Websites

December 5, 2016

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Titles II and III of the ADA prohibit discriminatory lack of access for individuals with disabilities to goods and services of public services and public accommodations, respectively. Title II extends a prohibition on discrimination to the activities of state and local governments regardless of whether such entities receive federal financial assistance. Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), the agency charged with implementing the provisions of Titles II and III has stated in lawsuits and structured settlements that “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has created recognized international guidelines for website accessibility. These guidelines, which are set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), detail how to make websites accessible to all individuals with disabilities. The DOJ uses WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the accepted standards in which to judge a website’s accessibility.

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