The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that requires business to offer the same services to ALL of their customers – regardless of physical limitations. The ADA requires that “places of public accommodation” are accessible to the disabled. Businesses that have a physical facility open to the public (and also fall into the following categories: retail stores, restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers) have an obligation to make the facilities accessible.
This law could also apply to the products and services business offer via the internet. There have been a number of law suits against business websites that are not in ADA compliance. Courts have ruled both ways – that websites should be ADA compliant, as well websites don’t fall under the ADA requirements.
In 2018 the Department of Justice is expected to release accessibility guidelines that will apply to business websites and mobile applications. If you’re considering a major update or rebuild to your website in the near future, you may wish to think about incorporating ADA requirements.