What is the Minimum for an ADA Compliant Website?

When I get this question, I know what the person asking is getting at: WGAG aside, what is the least I can do to be in compliance with the ADA and avoid a demand letter/lawsuit.

As of April 19, 2020, there is no answer to this because the legal landscape has been sculpted using court decisions (there is no formal federal prescription).

Repeat: There is no black letter law for private entities in the U.S. that I can point you to and tell you, this is what you need to do.

If I were to tell you, do A-B-C, 1-2-3, inevitably some plaintiff’s lawyer will sue you for F and you’ll come back to me and say, what the hell, I did what you said and I still got sued.

The practical effect of so many disability discrimination website accessibility demand letters and lawsuits being filed is you should become as accessible as you possibly can and that means remediate your website so that it conforms all 38 success criteria with WCAG 2.0 AA.

And once you take care of 2.0 AA, I would advance to 2.1 AA so you can know you’ve done all you can.

Conforming to all 38 success criteria is a rock solid foundation to accessibility (though it still doesn’t mean you can’t/won’t be sued, however unlikely it would be).

2.1 AA adds 12 more success criteria to that foundation.

Here’s where I would start when it comes to remediating your website:

  • alt text
  • closed captioning
  • programmatic labels
  • keyboard only access
  • heading structure

Those bullet points are all integral to 2.0 AA conformance and have all been claims made in website accessibility lawsuits.

If you need help understanding WCAG, subscribe to Accessible.org, and I’ll send you my WCAG 2.0 AA and 2.1 AA guides for free.