Human Resources Consulting - Columbia SC

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 discrimination.

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.

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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.

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Paul Hilton is a certified Human Resources Consultant, located in Columbia, SC.
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Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Office: (803) 481-9533
Cell: (803) 305-8962 

Paul Hilton, Human Resources Consulting, LLC