ADA Title II: Who Must Be Compliant with New Website Accessibility Rule?

State and local governments must comply with the various requirements under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Generally, Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and the new web accessibility rule published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) sets out specifically what must be done in terms of accessibility (WCAG 2.1 AA conformance) for digital assets, content, and documents.

In this guide, we’ll provide many categories and examples of the various public entities that are covered by Title II of the ADA and thus must be in compliance with the new web accessibility rule.

Who Must Comply?

We know that state and local governments are covered by Title II of the ADA, but let’s now detail what public entities are considered a part of state and local governments. Read my full guide on ADA Title II Website Accessibility for more on requirements, exceptions, and other important details under the new rule.

State and Local Government Entities

State and local government entities encompass a variety of offices and services that operate at different levels of government, including city, county, and state. These entities are responsible for delivering a wide range of public services to ensure the well-being and functioning of communities.

  • City Councils: Meeting agendas, minutes, live stream services, and public comment submission forms.
  • County Administrations: Property tax information, land records, public health directives, and emergency alerts.
  • State Departments: Licensing services, state benefits programs, environmental regulations, and transportation updates.
  • Public Housing Authorities: Rental applications, tenant resources, maintenance requests, and policy updates.
  • Voter Registration Portals: Online voter registration, election information, polling place locators, and absentee ballot services.

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions such as public schools, colleges, and universities play a critical role in providing educational services and information to students and parents, ensuring accessibility in their digital offerings is crucial for inclusive education.

  • Public Schools: Enrollment forms, parent-teacher communication platforms, lunch menus, and school bus schedules.
  • Universities: Course catalogs, academic calendars, student portals, scholarship information, and accessibility resources.
  • Digital Libraries: Searchable databases, digital borrowing, online help desks, academic journals, and multimedia educational resources.
  • Registration Portals: Class registration, exam schedules, grade submissions, and academic advisement services.
  • Disability Services: Accommodation requests, assistive technology resources, disability policy guidelines, and support services contact information.

Law Enforcement and Emergency Services

  • Law enforcement and emergency service agencies are crucial for public safety and order. Their digital platforms must be accessible to ensure that all community members can receive timely and effective information and services.
  • Police Departments: Crime reports, safety tips, community policing initiatives, officer contact information, and complaint submission forms.
  • Fire Departments: Fire safety resources, burn ban information, emergency contact numbers, station locations, and fire prevention guidelines.
  • Emergency Medical Services: Emergency preparedness guides, CPR instructions, service descriptions, and contact information for non-emergency inquiries.
  • Public Safety Announcements: Real-time alerts, disaster preparedness information, evacuation routes, and emergency contacts.
  • Crime Reporting Services: Online reporting tools, anonymous tip submissions, ongoing investigation updates, and victim assistance resources.

Judicial Systems

Judicial systems include various courts and related services that need to provide accessible digital content to ensure all individuals can utilize legal resources effectively.

  • Municipal Courts: Ticket payments, court dates, small claims information, and municipal ordinances.
  • State Courts: Case lookups, legal forms, self-help resources, juror information, and family law guidelines.
  • Federal Courts: Case dockets, filing procedures, court records, legal research tools, and appellate court information.
  • Legal Resource Services: FAQs on legal procedures, downloadable forms, legal aid resources, and lawyer referral services.
  • Online Fine Payments: Interfaces for paying court fines, traffic citations, and other court-imposed fees.

Public Transportation

Public transportation entities include services that provide mass transit options to the community. Ensuring their digital content is accessible is essential for individuals to independently navigate and use these services.

  • City Buses: Routes and timetables, fare information, real-time bus tracking, service alerts, and feedback forms.
  • Regional Transit Authorities: Regional rail schedules, multi-modal trip planner, parking information, accessibility services, and ticket purchasing systems.
  • Train Systems: Long-distance train schedules, booking systems, station amenities, accessibility guides, and customer service portals.
  • Transportation Apps: Mobile apps for ticketing, scheduling, and real-time updates.
  • Accessibility Information: Detailed descriptions of accessible services, ADA accommodations, and contact information for accessibility concerns.

Healthcare Facilities

Public healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics are vital in providing health services to the public. Accessible digital content ensures that all patients can manage their healthcare needs effectively.

  • Public Hospitals: Appointment booking, patient portals, medical records access, emergency room wait times, and public health notifications.
  • Clinics: Services offered, opening hours, online consultation booking, preventive health care information, and contact details for various departments.
  • Patient Portals: Secure access to personal health records, communication with healthcare providers, prescription refill requests, and appointment scheduling.
  • Health Information Resources: Disease information, treatment options, wellness tips, and educational videos.
  • Appointment Systems: Interfaces for scheduling, rescheduling, or cancelling appointments, along with automatic reminders.

Parks and Recreation

  • Parks and recreation departments provide community spaces and recreational activities that promote well-being and community engagement. Their digital platforms should be accessible to ensure all community members can benefit.
  • Program Registration: Online signup for recreational classes, sports leagues, and community events.
  • Event Calendars: Schedules of upcoming events, community gatherings, and public meetings.
  • Park Information: Maps, facilities, reservation systems for picnic areas and shelters, and park rules.
  • Facility Rentals: Online booking systems for public spaces, event venues, and equipment.
  • Virtual Tours: Interactive maps and virtual walkthroughs of parks, trails, and facilities.

Public Libraries

Public libraries are key educational resources in communities, providing a wide range of materials and learning opportunities. Their digital assets must be accessible to facilitate equal access for all users.

  • Online Catalogs: Searchable listings of books, magazines, audio books, and videos.
  • Reservation Systems: Online reservation of library materials and computer stations.
  • Digital Archives: Access to historical documents, local archives, and genealogy resources.
  • E-books and Media: Platforms for borrowing digital books, audiobooks, and streaming media.
  • Remote Learning Resources: Online classes, tutorials, and educational programs.

Special District Governments

Special districts are independent governmental units created for specific purposes such as fire protection, water supply, or park services. These entities, though specialized, are not exempt from ADA Title II requirements:

  • Infrastructure Focus: Many special districts manage significant infrastructure projects and must ensure their digital content—like project updates, public notices, and service changes—is accessible.
  • Independent Operation: Although they operate independently from other local government structures, special districts must still adhere to ADA compliance, ensuring their websites and digital tools are accessible.
  • Public Interaction: Accessibility is crucial as these districts often interact directly with the public, providing essential services that require public engagement and feedback through digital platforms.

Private Contractors

Private contractors working with public entities must also comply with ADA Title II. This applies to any service contracted out by public entities, including transportation, education, and healthcare:

  • Transportation Services: Contractors providing public bus services or other transportation solutions must ensure all digital communications and scheduling tools are accessible.
  • Educational Services: Private entities contracted to provide educational platforms or services must comply, ensuring that learning management systems and online resources are accessible to all students.
  • Healthcare Services: Contractors operating public healthcare facilities must make their digital health services, such as appointment booking and patient portals, accessible.
  • Retail Services: Even retail services that might seem tangential, like convenience stores selling lottery tickets, fall under this rule if they serve a public function tied to state or local government activities.


ADA Title II covers much more than what you may think of as state and local governments. Compliance is required of public entities of all sizes including government offices, schools, police, courts, transportation, health services, parks, libraries, and other public activities, programs, ans services. Also, special district governments and private entities who contract with the government are covered.