Does Your Organization Have a Web Site?
If So, Is It ADA Compliant?
Several weeks ago, a trial was held in a federal district court
in Florida. The case involved a blind man who alleged that the
Winn-Dixie grocery store had failed to make its website accessible
for him to download coupons, order prescriptions and locate stores
and that this was a violation of Title III of the the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA).The judge ultimately agreed and ruled
in favor of the plaintiff. The judge ruled that the grocery store
had a legal obligation to make its web site accessible to all
individuals, even if they have any form of a disability.
The judge then issued an injunction ordering Winn-Dixie to modify
its website to comport with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
(WCAG) 2.0. The judge also awarded the plaintiff the recoupment
of attorney’s fees and other court costs.
As a result of this case, businesses who have a web presence
should consider having their sites tested to determine if they
are WCAG 2.0 compliant.
So, just what is WCAG 2.0? Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
(WCAG) 2.0 define how to make Web content more accessible to
people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical,
speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.
Although these guidelines cover a wide range of issues, they
are not able to address the needs of people with all types, degrees,
and combinations of disability. These guidelines also make Web
content more usable by older individuals with changing abilities
due to aging.
The guidelines and success criteria are organized around the
following four principles which lay the foundation necessary
for anyone to access and use Web content. Anyone who wants to
use the Web must have content that is:
1. Perceivable - Information
and user interface components must be presentable to users in
ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to
perceive the information being presented (it cannot be invisible
to all of their senses)
2. Operable - User interface components
and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be
able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction
that a user cannot perform)
3. Understandable - Information and
the operation of user interface must be understandable. This
means that users must be able to understand the information as
well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation
cannot be beyond their understanding)
4. Robust - Content must
be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide
variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This
means that users must be able to access the content as technologies
advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content
should remain accessible)
If any of these criteria are not true, users with disabilities
will not be able to effectively utilize the Web. This then potentially
leaves the company and its web site open to charges of disability
A company’s best defense against the potential expense and
aggravation related to federal or state law violations is to proactively
review and revise as needed their Human Resources policies, handbooks,
hiring procedures, compensation, benefits, training programs, communications
tools and other functions. The professionals of PHHR are ready
to assist your organization maintain compliance with the latest
state and federal mandates.
Paul Hilton Human Resources Consulting works with our clients to insure that all required documentation is correct and sufficient to successfully defend against a claim to any unemployment compensation commission.
|For assistance with any Human Resources related questions or other
issues, please Contact Us.
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