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The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was signed into law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations” offered by businesses.

What About Websites & Apps?

The ADA was passed before the Internet as we now know it existed. However, U.S. Department Justice (“DOJ”) has taken the position that the ADA applies to websites, mobile apps, and Internet of Things. To avoid discriminating against people with disabilities, digital products must be designed to be accessible.

What does “accessible” mean?

Accessibility in the digital age is the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with websites, apps and enterprise systems for people with disabilities. The DOJ, many well-known advocacy organizations, and a tremendous amount of case law all support the fact that digital products must comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) . WCAG provides an important, internationally recognized standard that digital properties can be assessed by. WCAG alone is not enough, though, to provide fully accessible sites and apps. Universal design, providing rich, intuitive experiences for all users, should be the goal while also meeting the standards.

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