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closup of person with guide dog (Photo: Shutterstock)

Since 2010, state and local governments and businesses open to the public have been required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Yet for more than two decades, these same businesses and governments have been operating without any clear definition for what constitutes ADA compliance for their websites. While many have been acting in goodwill to ensure access to information on the web for vision and hearing-impaired individuals, the lack of defined rules has left these entities susceptible to lawsuits for failure to comply. A Catch-22.

On March 18, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued “new guidance” for state and local governments and businesses open to the public as it relates to website accessibility under the ADA. The guidance highlights why website accessibility matters, examples of website accessibility barriers, when web content is required to be accessible, and how to make web content accessible for people with disabilities.

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