May 15, 2017

What Happens in January 2018?

Did you know?

I’m sure the last thing you want to hear about is more government regulation, but there’s a new law going into effect in January 2018 that will affect your business (United States) if you operate a Website.

Did you know?  Did the DOJ send you a memo?  Did your SEO agency tell you? Has your Webmaster brought it up yet?  Websites must be accessible in 2018.

But wait!  What’s accessibility?  We’ll cover that in a separate post.

Here’s the kicker.  There’s not just one law!  I mean, you could potentially have one thing wrong with your website, and be in violation of multiple laws and regulations.  Let’s see… There’s sections 503, 504, and 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act.  Not to mention the Americans with Disabilities Act Titles II and III.

The number one accessibility issue with most websites violates all of those regulations (if they fall into certain categories).  But millions of businesses do? So how do you know yours isn’t one of them?

Do you have a physical location AND a Website?  Does your public Website have a shopping cart, or other interactive functionality?  Then listen up!  This affects YOU!

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t at least make you aware.  DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice you should talk to someone qualified to give it to you.  That’s not me.  Okay?

January 1st 2018 Compliance Deadline

On Midnight January 1st 2018 new legislation goes into effect that requires certain commercial Websites to meet minimum technical standards in order to accommodate Persons with Disabilities.

Let me say this; it’s not just the law, it’s the right thing to do!  Now that the standards are the law it’s time to have this discussion.  Please bear with me.

Just like there are physical barriers in the world, there are digital barriers. Stairs, for example are physical barrier to someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter for mobility.  The right thing to do would be to provide an alternative means of equal access.  That’s key.  Equal Access.  A ramp would provide access, but not EQUAL ACCESS if it was hidden in the back of the building and there’s no sign to direct you.  Everyone else gets to come in the front door.  The disabled Vet who uses a wheelchair has to figure out where the ramp is.  Make sense?

EQUAL ACCESS.  That’s going to be an important differential as we continue our discussion in our next post.  Be sure to subscribe to this site or check back for updates.