Q&A: Does the Law Require You to Provide Accessibility Training?
Updated: January 24, 2019
In the webinar, 2018 Legal Update on Digital Access Cases, Lainey Feingold, an internationally recognized disability rights lawyer and pioneer of Structured Negotiation, talks about key cases, court decisions, government agency activity, settlements, and other recent development affecting the digital space.
Below is a snippet from the Q&A covering WCAG, ADA regulations, and legal requirements for accessibility training.
Is WCAG the prevailing guideline for specific steps to implement in order to be ADA compliant?
LAINEY FEINGOLD: Yes. WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, are guidelines for developing web content. If you follow those guidelines as well as follow the best practices that include, for example, usability testing, chances are people are going to be able to access your information and goods and services.
Another big piece of this is the accessibility statement. One of the things in the accessibility statement is having a phone number and an email where people can contact you if they have a problem. You need a quick response system if a problem comes up.
All that taken together is how you stay ahead of the legal curve.
Does the law state we should provide accessibility training? What should I do if I get pushback?
LAINEY FEINGOLD: In the Winn-Dixie case, part of the injunction was that they had to have training…The idea of training is to avoid getting caught up in the legal morass.
I like to think of things in a practical way – how much could training cost versus getting yourself stuck in a legal vortex? The idea of accessibility as a brand differentiator and making staff feel good about doing the work really has a high value. It’s hard to monetize, but it really has a high value.
Does ADA regulation require accessibility but doesn’t have specific standards referenced?
LAINEY FEINGOLD: The ADA is the law, and there are regulations under the ADA that require effective communication, that require non-discrimination, that require participation.[The ADA regulations are] Title III and Title II [for accessibility].
We don’t have any regulations that specifically say a website must be accessible. But the effective communication regulations are very strong and are a big part of the underlying foundation for saying that the ADA covers websites and requires accessibility.
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