The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents discrimination by making it illegal for businesses to provide goods and services without also ensuring their accessibility by disabled persons. Title III of the ADA addresses "public accommodations" including services provided via website.
Since closing the comment period on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on website accessibility issues, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has delayed proposed rules multiple times. Formal rules will be available no earlier than 2018, yet in 2006 litigants and the DOJ had already begun attempts to enforce the ADA against businesses, especially retailers.
With threats of legal action on the rise nationwide and in the Carolinas, the League offers the following information and resources to help credit unions understand the ADA relative to website accessibility and act accordingly.
Should your credit union receive a demand letter, please contact your legal counsel or attorney familiar with credit union field-of-membership issues and the ADA.
2017 Compliance Conference Panel | Accessibility: Good Business Practice and Legally Required
In a panel presentation at the 2017 Compliance Conference in Concord, Lynne Deese of the NC Assistive Technology Program and Holly Stiles of Disability Rights NC reviewed recent actions related to ADA and accessibility, notable case findings and structured negotiations, and considerations for credit unions including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG, below).
Download the Presentation (PDF) »
Archived Webinar | ADA Website Compliance Requirements & Common Errors
Provided by CU Webinar Network (A League partner)
Cost: $139-$200 (League-affiliate rate)
An archived recording of this January 9, 2017 webinar is available via the Credit Union Webinar Network. Highlights include online barriers for people with disabilities, solutions to common website accessibility problems, detailed review of recognized website accessibility guidelines, how ADA requirements affect mobile banking, and an action plan to prepare for the necessary updates. Takeaways include an ADA website compliance checklist, action plan, employee training log, and quiz to measure staff learning.
Purchase Webinar »
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
Provided and reviewed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following WCAG 2.0 will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities including blindness and impaired vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning and cognitive disabilities and limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, and photosensitivity. These guidelines also can make website content more usable in general.
View the Guidelines »
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Accessibility Checklist
While Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act applies to government agencies or contractors, using this checklist provides guidance toward ADA accessibility compliance.
- Every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an alt tag
- Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions
The alt descriptions describe the purpose of the objects
- If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination
- Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= "")
- Add captions to videos
- Add audio descriptions
- Create text transcript
- Create a link to the video rather than embedding it into web pages
- Add a link to the media player download
- Add an additional link to the text transcript
- The page should provide alternative links to the Image Map
tags must contain an alt attribute
- Data tables have the column and row headers appropriately identified (using the tag)
- Tables used strictly for layout purposes do NOT have header rows or columns
- Table cells are associated with the appropriate headers (e.g. with the id, headers, scope and/or axis HTML attributes)
- Make sure the page does not contain repeatedly flashing images
Check to make sure the page does not contain a strobe effect
- A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded
All Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided
- When form controls are text input fields use the LABEL element
- When text is not available use the title attribute
Include any special instructions within field labels
- Make sure that form fields are in a logical tab order
Include a ‘Skip Navigation' button to help those using text readers
Download the Checklist »
Website Scanner Resources
We have not verified and make no use or claims about the quality of the third-party vendor services.
WAVE Web Accessibility - A free resource for credit union's to scan their site for issues.
Accessible360 - A free assessment performed by a visually-impaired accessibility engineer, including issues that need to be addressed and how to address them.
FAQ About ADA Website Compliance (Source: CUNA)
Webinar Handouts | Commitment to Digital Accessibility: Best Practices for Inclusive Technology (Source: ADA Center, Jan. 17, 2018)
ADA Website Compliance Service Providers (CUNA, Oct. 17, 2017)
GSA Section 508 Quick Reference Guide, 1194.22
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility Checklists
CUNA backs bill that addresses ADA litigation threats (Oct. 17, 2017)
CUNA, leagues push for ADA website guidance from DOJ (Oct. 11, 2017)
Rise Above Your Risk: Website Accessibility & ADA (CUNA Mutual Group)
Risk Alert: Law Firms Allege ADA Non-Compliance Related to Website Accessibility (CUNA Mutual Group, Aug. 14, 2017)
Risk Alert: Law Firms Become More Aggressive Alleging ADA Non-Compliance (CUNA Mutual Group, Dec. 20, 2017)