The state of Colorado is leading the way in website accessibility. Colorado is taking the right to equal access to web content seriously by making it easier to prosecute agencies that don’t provide equal access to the information or services obtained on the internet.
The New House Bill
The Governor of Colorado signed House Bill 21-1110 into law in June of 2021. The bill gives public entities and state agencies until July 1st of 2024 to create an accessibility plan and comply with accessibility guidelines. After that date, individuals will have the right to sue in the state court for non-compliance if they believe they are being denied equal access to services and information.
Throughout the country people could file federal lawsuits if they could demonstrate that websites were not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The language regarding websites in the ADA is lacking and leaves interpretation up to courts and judges. Enacting a state law In Colorado makes it much easier for a broader range of individuals to take specific legal action. It also makes the language very clear regarding accessibility on the internet.
Public and Private Websites
Right now this law only applies to government agencies. Any government agency that is not fully complying with accessibility standards by 2024 has the potential to face expensive repercussions.
While private business owners are not directly impacted by this bill, it sends a strong message to the general public. Accessibility is important to our citizens and lawmakers and we can expect more laws continuing to encourage websites in the private sector to comply as well.
If you are considering a new website, or planning to update your website, it is much easier to consider accessibility now instead of after there is a new law or after you face a civil lawsuit. The industry guidelines for accessibility are called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 2.1. The guidelines are created by the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. These guidelines are not specifically included any ADA language, but they are considered best practice to follow.
Incorporating accessibility into your website includes everyone, making your website easier to access for a broader range of potential clients. Prepare for the future and practice inclusiveness by building accessibility into your website.
At Tandem Design we understand industry best practices and accessibility guidelines. Talk to us about making your website inclusive so you are ready for the future.