intro >> accessibility >> What Does It Mean To Be "Accessible?"

Web Site Accessibility

There are many reasons for making your web sites accessible to those with limitations.

The most important advantages include successfully serving millions of people with disabilities, the benefits of accessible design for other users, and complying with accessibility requirements where those exist.


Place of Public Accommodation

There is the issue of the applicability of the ADA to the World Wide Web. Is a web site on the World Wide Web considered a "Place of Public Accommodation?"

Actually, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that it considers a web site on the World Wide Web is such a place.


What Does It Mean To Be "Accessible?"

Accessible is the ability to use a web site effectively by persons with disabilities as by those without. A web developer should understand the standards for accessible electronic and information technology.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that became law in 1990 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The ADA requires employers, state and local governments and places of public accommodation to offer reasonable services or tools to insure that people are not discriminated against based on disability.


The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) had taken the DOJ'S interpretation and filed suit against America OnLine (AOL). The NFB claimed AOL is subject to the ADA based on the DOJ's guidelines of "Place of Public Accommodation."

This case was settled out of court with AOL agreeing to make its web browsing technology accessible. For this reason, there has not been a court ruling agreeing or disagreeing with the concept that web sites are a PLACE where discrimination against people with disabilities would not be acceptable.


Accessibility for Online