In today’s digital world, your website and online presence must comply with accessibility regulations. The Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for accessible design in September 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.
Accessibility compliance reduces the risk of litigation and engages a diverse set of customers better.
The ADA differs from Section 508 regulations, which are an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and apply to all information technology, including computer hardware, software, and documentation.
The ADA encourages self-regulation of accessibility standards and the Department of Justice is currently developing regulations to provide specific guidance to the entities covered by the ADA. Organizations are encouraged to use the WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines as a guide on how to become accessible until the DOJ defines the regulations.
WCAG 2.0 compliance:
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sets the main international standards for the World Wide Web and its accessibility. W3C created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) which are similar to Section 508 but on an international level. WCAG 2.0 requires specific techniques for compliance and is more current than Section 508.
Many countries and international organizations require compliance with WCAG 2.0. The guidelines are categorized into three levels of compliance:
- A (must support)
- AA (should support)
- AAA (may support)
Representatives from the accessibility community around the world participate in the evolution of these guidelines.
All organizations, Federal and State agencies, and educational institutions should look to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to provide guidance on how to make products accessible.
Section 508 is currently undergoing a refresh and will be requiring compliance with these guidelines by all Federal agencies and those who are selling to the Federal guidelines. U.S. government websites and applications and those developed using US Federal funds must also comply with Section 508. Many state agencies and corporations have already adopted these standards.
Ensure compliance with Sagitec and Compliance Sheriff
Sagitec has partnered with Compliance Sheriff, a leading solution provider for website accessibility compliance. With Compliance Sheriff, you can create and manage web governance standards for accessibility, privacy, and custom checkpoint compliance. Effective web content and regulatory governance is an essential risk management strategy that will ensure your organization's online resources comply with federal and international regulatory guidelines for best practices and risk management.
Sagitec, with the help of Compliance Sheriff, provides automated testing and reporting for standards-based privacy and accessibility policies based on the current standards outlined by HIPAA, FISMA, COPPA, Section 508, Section 208, WCAG 2.0, and other commonly observed US and international standards. In addition to these published standards, you can create site quality and custom tests and reports to suit your organization's specific policies and requirements.
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