Stop saying there are no federal accessibility standards

Not only is that wrong, that type of ignorance makes the person stating it look amazingly uninformed and biased against people with disabilities.

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Cartoon lightbulb with the words “Treat Everyone Equally” on a blue background

A little history on the ADA (bear with me)

I know, I hate history too. But it is pretty important to understand two key points behind the legal foundation of the ADA.

But wait, the rule linking the ADA to WCAG 2.0 Level AA as a standard got cancelled?

Yes, yes it did. After being “pending” for six years. Go ahead and ask your friends at Domino’s how claiming “equal access is too vague of a standard because there is no fixed rule in place” as a defense worked out for them. I’ll give you a hint if you don’t want to read the article. It didn’t.

  • The corellary to the “equal access” rule is separate but equal is always separate but never really equal. Brown v. Board of Education determined this decades ago. Why are we still even talking about this today?
  • The various flavors of WCAG are one mechanism to determine whether or not you have met the legal requirements. But not the only one.

Conclusion

There was an avalanche of accessibility lawsuits in 2018 because . . . wait for it . . . 96 % of websites are still inaccessible. Almost 100 % of these lawsuits are being decided in favor of the plaintiffs. There is a message here, but the message is NOT “we have too many lawsuits because there are no federal standards for accessibility.”

Written by

Blogger, disability advocate, nerd. Bringing the fire on ableism. A11y Architect @ VMware. Wheelchair user w/ a deaf daughter. CS, Law, and Business background

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