Accessibility Legislation - USA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

ADA requirements are outlined in The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.

Title II

ADA requirements are outlined in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which apply to all activities of state and local governments, regardless of an entity's size or receipt of federal funding. It requires that all state and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all programs, services, and activities, such as public education, employment, transportation, recreation, healthcare, social services, town meetings, etc. They are required to be able to communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision, or speech disabilities.

Title III

ADA requirements are outlined in Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in "places of public accommodation" (businesses and non-profit agencies that serve the public) and "commercial facilities" (other businesses). 

Read the Title III highlights from the U.S. Department of Justice

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , applies to people of all ages with learning disabilities; offering protection against discrimination and giving them a right to different forms of assistance in the classroom and workplace. 

Telecommunications Act (Section 255)  

Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. The Federal Communications Commission's Report and Order Implementing Section 255 was released in September 1999.

Section 508

ADA requirements within Section 508 have the net effect of requiring that vendors seeking to do business with the U.S. Federal Government must also ensure their websites and software tools meet accessibility requirements. While Section 508 compliance requirements stop short of placing an obligation on the operators of private sector websites, it is the buying power of the federal government that makes many private companies decide to comply with the terms of 508 - because compliance may help them to win federal work.

WCAG 2.0

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is the industry recognized body for setting standards for making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities to ensure that all users can have equal access to information and functionality through the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).  An accessible website is achieved when web pages and processes are validated for compliance against the W3C's Standards (WCAG 2.0 level AA).

Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act is established to ensure all individuals have equal access to new age technologies. Title I: Communication Access addresses communications access to make products and services using Broadband fully accessible to people with disabilities. For example, smartphones will be required to be usable by blind and visually impaired people as well as people with hearing aids. Title II: Video Programming of the accessibility act breaks new ground to make it easier for people with disabilities to view video programming on television and the Internet.

Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA)

A provision of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Section 904, requires access to information on prescription drug labels for individuals who are blind or visually impaired or who are elderly along with the development of  best practices for making information on prescription drug container labels accessible. 

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, age, national origin, colour and race within federally funded healthcare programs and extends protections to individuals who purchase health insurance through the health insurance marketplaces. By first plan year beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, Covered Entities must ensure applicable health insurance & group benefit designs comply with Section 1557, which includes providing appropriate auxiliary aids & services, such as alternate formats.