ADA vs. WCAG: What is the Difference?
What is ADA and ADA compliance?
The ADA is an acronym for the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in various areas of life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
The ADA seeks to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else by giving civil rights protections to people with disabilities similar to those provided to people on the basis of their race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.
ADA compliance, on the other hand,refers to the appropriate and reasonable accommodations being put in place to facilitate access to people with disabilities, as issued by the Department of Justice (DOI) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) for places of public accommodations, commercial facilities, and all state and local government buildings.
The ADA compliance standards, which are articulated in the ADA Compliance Manual, help to make new constructions, elevations, or additions to any of the existing buildings easy for people with disabilities to use or obtain information from. It includes having content and facility functions that facilitate people with disabilities using them.
How is the ADA different from WCAG?
I have participated in a number of enriching ADA vs. WCAG debates and always realize why it is important to keep the discussions to enable as many people as possible to distinguish the difference between the two.
While the ADA is a civil rights law that views a disability as a condition that considerably limits a major life activity, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of standards created to provide solutions for creating a digital world that is accessible to people with disabilities.
As an ISO standard recognized as a go-to-source for implementing digital accessibility, WCAG has three layers of compliance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA.
Level“A” layer of compliance covers the most basic accessibility features for a website. The inclusion of these features is usually a must to ensure accessibility to people with different types of disabilities.
In addition to the fundamental accessibility characteristics, the Level "AA" layer of compliance focuses on identifying the most prevalent and significant barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. People with disabilities can access information online only if online platforms comply with level "AA" checkpoints. This can help to deal with a significant number of barriers.
Level “AAA” of compliance is the top-most tier of web accessibility. It seeks to remove all hurdles in web accessibility for people with disabilities. Websites can choose whether or not to implement this compliance checkpoint.
Need help with creating an ADA & WCAG conformance report?
WCAG helps to attain ADA compliance. To develop an accurate ADA & WCAG conformance report, you need to understand the accessibility functionalities required by the ADA and WCAG.
For more information or help with ADA & WCAG conformance reports, call (626) 486-220 to make your inquiry. To test your website for WCAG compliance, use this WCAG compliance checker to perform a free accessibility check.
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