Accessibility for All

Why is it important that your website be accessible to people with disabilities?

  1. It is the right thing to do. People with disabilities, whether due to age or circumstance, should be able to enjoy the full benefits of a website.
  2. Your website will be accessible to a larger audience.
  3. It could protect you against legal liabilities. "Nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in federal court for alleged website violations in the first six months of 2018" - LA Times, Nov. 11, 2018.
  4. Currently, this is a requirement for government websites under Section 508, which "may not apply to your website, but other laws likely do". - Dec. 12, 2017

How can you make your website accessible by implementing WCAG?

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It's an internationally recognized set of standards that was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), in an effort to make website content more accessible to people with disabilities.

As of June 5, 2018, WCAG 2.1 is the latest version of WCAG.

WCAG has three (3) levels of compliance

  • Level A

    This is the bare minimum to be compliant and the easiest level to obtain.

  • Level AA

    Harder to obtain than Level A, but easier than Level AAA. Additional work is required to maintain.

    This is the recommended level.

  • Level AAA

    This is the hardest level to obtain. Typically, it requires a lot of on-going work to maintain this level.

We work with our clients to make their websites compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA.

How EO implements WCAG

We have a three-phase approach to making your website WCAG compliant.

PHASE 1: Review, Implement and Training

  1. We will review your website and provide you with a report on what it will take to make your website WCAG compliant.
  2. We will make any necessary code and programming changes to your website to make it WCAG compliant. Any changes that may require a design or visual modification will be coordinate with you before its made.
  3. When possible, based on your website's framework, we will implement our custom website accessibility tool, which allows users with disabilities to customize your website to best meet their needs.
  4. We will either provide training for your team on how to keep your website compliant or we can maintain the website compliant for you.

PHASE 2: Third Party Review

  1. We will work with a prominent and trusted advocacy group, that has been fighting for the rights of the disabled for decades, to obtain a letter of compliance. The letter will state that your website is in compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA as of the date the letter was issued.

PHASE 3: On-Going Review

  1. If your website content will constantly be changing, we will recommend a 3, 6- or 12-month review cycle to ensure you stay in compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is for information purposes only and doesn't represent any legal advice. We are providing this information to help you better understand the need for implementing WCAG on your websites. As with any legal related matters you should always consult with counsel.

  1. Am I required to make my website accessible to people with disabilities?

    It's a complicated answer, but in a letter sent to the House of Representatives on September 25, 2018 the DOJ wrote:

    "The department first articulated its interpretation that the ADA applies to public accommodation's websites over 20 years ago. This interpretation is consistent with the ADA's title III requirement that goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to people with disabilities." (View Letter - PDF)

    Does this apply to your business? Only your legal counsel can advise you of that.

  2. Are there specific regulations that private companies need to comply with?

    In that same September 25, 2018 letter, the DOJ wrote: "the Department has consistently taken the position that the absence of a specific regulation does not serve as a basis for noncompliance with a statue's requirements."

    So technically no, but you may still be required to comply with "the ADA's general requirements of nondiscrimination and effective communication".

    In 2016 the E.U. adopted an accessibility directive with the goal of making websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies more accessible. All existing public sector websites that fall within this directive, and were created before September 23, 2018, must be compliant by September 23, 2020. All websites after September 23, 2018, must be compliant by September 23, 2019.

    This is something that the business industry is pushing the DOJ to follow, especially with the increase of lawsuits related to accessibility.

    Since WCAG is an internationally adopted standard, this is one of the ways businesses are legally protecting themselves.

  3. If there isn't a specific regulation for private companies to follow, how can they be sued?

    It is our understanding, based on discussions with various compliance companies and advocacy groups, that because accessibility regulations are currently a gray area, lawyers are taking the opportunity to sue companies in the hope they will settle, instead of taking a chance in court.

  4. Once my website is compliant, will I get a Certificate of Compliance?

    There isn't a company that can provide you with a certificate of compliance, because there aren't website accessibility regulations for private companies to certify against. The best that can be done is to obtain a letter of compliance that states that your website adheres to the WCAG guidelines outlined above.

  5. Is EO certified to provide compliance?

    Just like the Certificate of Compliance, a company cannot be certified for something that doesn't exist; website accessibility regulations for private companies. That said, we have experience in implementing WCAG compliance, and continuously work with companies and advocacy groups that can provide a letter of compliance.

  6. Why can't EO provide a letter of compliance?

    It is our opinion that it will provide you with better legal protection to have one company implement the guidelines (EO) and have an independent party review and validate the compliance. Companies who do both have a vested interest to say you are in compliance, even though you may not be.

    We work with a trusted, prominent advocacy group, that has been fighting for the rights of people with disabilities for decades, to do the review.

  7. How much will this cost?

    This varies based on how your website was designed and developed. EO provides a free review of your website to determine what it will take to become compliant.

Client WCAG Implementation Portfolio

Clients that have obtained a letter of compliance, are currently working to obtain a letter of compliance or are in Phase I of our compliance process.

  • Kimco Realty
  • Lessing's Hospitality Group
  • Abrams Fensterman
  • Kidz Therapy