Back to school looks different this year. Teachers and parents must balance fluctuating health regulations with in-person classes, virtual technology, and working from home. As they handle the precious task of educating our children, they need a reliable, up-to-date, and accessible source of information. In this environment, it is more important than ever that school websites are ADA compliant.
Why Websites Must Be ADA Compliant
If you’re unfamiliar with ADA compliance and why it applies to websites, you’re not alone. (Click here to read our blog about ADA compliance for websites.)ADA stands for the Americans with Disability Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any and all public or private spaces open to the general public. Because our daily lives are increasingly web-dependent, websites are considered public or private spaces. Accordingly, they must provide equal access to content for all individuals.
To make this possible, the World Wide Web Consortium, an international website standards organization commonly referred to as W3C, introduced Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in 2002. The goal of WCAG guidelines are to make the web equally accessible to people with visual and auditory impairments, learning disorders, and other disabilities, such as those that come with advanced age. For a comprehensive introduction to WCAG guidelines and how they apply to websites, click here to request our ADA compliance whitepaper.
Schools Must Act Now for Fall 2020
The transition to e-learning has squarely demonstrated schools’ need for contemporary websites. Since February, they have served as the primary source of information regarding distance learning. Now, they will help prepare students and parents to re-enter classrooms, whether virtually, at reduced capacity, or in-person. In order to ensure fair, consistent communication with all students and families, school websites must be ADA compliant.
The risks of compliance failure are grave. By failing to make information accessible to disabled parents, guardians, teachers, children, or caretakers, schools may jeopardize both families’ ability to make informed decisions and the quality of education they provide. For this reasons, school districts without ADA compliant websites may face OCR complaints, investigations, and discrimination lawsuits.
The Niki Jones Agency is a frontrunner in the field of ADA compliance. We provide ADA compliance audits and can help schools update their sites to meet WCAG 2.1 standards. Call today to speak to speak with Niki or Louis and we’ll tackle this back-to-school season together.