Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Sales and Customer Service FAQs
Q. What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was passed in 1990 to protect the rights of disabled people, to ensure they were not discriminated against due to their disability. It also required certain businesses and other public facilities to include certain requirements to allow their location to be accessible by people with disabilities.
Q. How does the ADA relate to our product/service?
Although there is no specific language in the ADA regarding requirements of websites to be accessible to people with disabilities, there are arguments that the language insinuates websites as a place of accommodation. Because of this lack of specificity, different state courts have different views, which range from:
- Websites are not required to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Only websites that have a connection to an actual brick and mortar location must be accessible to people with disabilities
- All websites must be accessible to people with disabilities
Because we provide and create websites for customers (some of whom have brick and mortar office locations), we may be required to make the website accessible, depending on the location of the customer.
Common questions from clients?
- Is my website ADA compliant?
- When you receive this question, never state that “we are ADA compliant” - because of the complexities of compliance, we may be at risk for saying this if the website falls short of what may be considered compliant in any way.
- The best approach is to say something along the lines of “we follow industry best practices related to ADA compliance” or “we follow suggested guidelines related to ADA website accessibility.”
- I received a complaint from an attorney saying my website is not ADA compliant and that if I don’t pay a fee, they will file a lawsuit against me. What do I do?
- Let them know that we cannot provide legal advice for this issue, they will need to seek their own legal counsel and if they need us to make any changes to their website we would be happy to do so.
- If they have further questions - inform them that they can escalate the question to our legal department at [email protected].
Q. Are we in compliance with the ADA?
Currently, we follow the industry best practices related to ADA compliance. We always strive to make sure we provide our customers with the best services available, and if any additional requirements are needed or requested, we would be glad to oblige the customer.
Description: Chrome extension so that you can open any website, click the little “w” in the top-right of your browser, and it will scan and show errors listed on a website, as it relates to website accessibility.
Description: Quick check-list of A and AA guidelines to follow, which includes descriptions of what they all are. Helpful when discussing with customers.
ADA Best Practices Tool Kit (State and Local Governments) – Website Accessibility Under Title II Description: Website Accessibility Under Title II of ADA (Chapter 5) that explains why this is important and while it applies here more to government, it’s still from an ADA-perspective relevant, just not officially ruled on for everyone else.