Over the past few years, huge changes have affected web accessibility. And now, there are major new ADA accessibility requirements in the works. Many web administrators have a patchwork understanding of accessibility compliance that is quickly becoming outdated, particularly in the United States. For years, Section 508 has dominated U.S. web accessibility because it’s been the only law around. Because 508 only applies to US Government agencies and their vendors, major accessibility projects have been few and far between for businesses and their agency partners. As a result, applying basic development best practices has been the extent of web accessibility support for most medium to large corporate projects. Those best practices are beneficial, but fall far short of providing real access for the 20% of Americans living with disabilities. At the end of 2012, The Department of Justice released its advanced notice proposal to include web accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This huge announcement has gone largely unknown in the interactive community, but the implications are tremendous. Unlike Section 508, which only applies to US Government departments and agencies, changes to the ADA would apply web accessibility standards to any “place of public accommodation”. That’s basically every business in the country – every office, bakery, school and restaurant, every insurance agency, health care provider, bank and university. Just like handicap bathrooms and parking spots, this expected update to the ADA would make website accessibility a standard for all of these businesses. As a part of the announcement, the DoJ hinted that the international WCAG 2.0 AA guideline could be the standard by which they measured compliance. Separately, it is expected that updates to the 508 law may also conform to the international standard as soon as this year. But corporations can’t wait for the ADA to be updated, “The fact that the ADA does not include Web-based services as a specific example of a public accommodation is irrelevant“ stated Federal district Judge Michael Ponsor in a ruling against Netflix. Similarly in March 2014, the DoJ entered a consent decree with H&R Block, which also references existing ADA law. Under that decree WCAG 2.0 AA is the standard to which H&R Block must comply within a year for their website and two years for their mobile applications. But what does this mean for your corporate website? For years, companies and developers have avoided implementing accessibility compliance on their own. Poor technology solutions and the limitations they imposed have given compliance efforts a bad name. Fortunately these new laws are coming on the back of another major accessibility shift in technology. Today HTML5, CSS3, ARIA tools, PDFs, and the most modern browsers provide an excellent platform to make even complex websites compliant. Built with accessibility in mind they include simple and flexible methods for making content easier to access. That means developing an accessible mobile or even responsive website is achievable. It also means that there are no more excuses. For more information look for more blog posts in the near future, and visit Primacy's ADA(508) Compliance and Accessibility solutions page.