Enabling ADA Compliance via the User Experience (UX)

Leading State Agency

ADA Compliance

The Challenge

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set standards for “places of public accommodation” spanning from brick-and-mortar locations to the Internet. They must have inclusive environments, accessibility and equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has outlined requirements on how disabled citizens and workers can access web content, using a variety of different viewing methods. While private entities await further rulemaking for what is expected of them, adherence is required by government agencies, Federal-funded non-profits, and public schools (K-12 and higher education). If public entities don’t comply with accessibility standards enforced by the Department of Justice, they risk compliance fines and lawsuits. Many groups forming class action lawsuits on ADA (website) violations have sued three states so far. To avoid litigation, one state agency turned to us to help it identify and fix compliance issues for digital content.

The Solution

Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning and neurological disabilities. We applied our user experience (UX) know-how to identify gaps across the agency’s digital properties and deliver a new experience that fully addressed ADA guidelines. After our UX team scanned all URLs, PDFs and videos, the team identified more than 37 compliance-type violations, spanning 421 individual URLs, PDFs and videos. Next, the team outlined the violations in detail, while providing high level recommendations for a fix. Based on our assessment reports and recommendations, the agency remediated the URLs, removed the videos and we remediated the PDFs. We then re-assessed the agency’s work as well as our to ensure compliance and avoid litigation.

 

Results

Our efforts successfully provided the client with best practices and processes for assessing all federal compliance issues. We provided validation and remediation of compliance issues, that were identified in the assessment report. Which resulted in the confirmation of resolved issues for website content on the state agency website.