Title II: Who Does New ADA Website Accessibility Rule Apply To?

Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to make services, programs, and activities accessible to people with disabilities. But it’s not just strictly state and local governments that must comply.

Title II applies to all services, programs, or activities of state and local governments. With the new ADA Title website accessibility rule, this extends to the websites, web content, mobile apps, and documents of these various entities. In plain English, we’ll cover who must be compliant with the new web rule published by the Department of Justice.

Who Needs to Comply?

Public Places Run by the Government

These are places like local government offices, schools, police departments, courts, hospitals, and libraries. They need to make sure their websites, web content, and apps can be used by everyone. Here are some examples:

  • Government Offices: These are places that manage services like food assistance, health insurance, and job support. For example, offices that handle applications for food stamps, local health departments, and employment agencies are all government offices.
  • Schools: This group includes all educational institutions such as public elementary and high schools, community colleges, and state universities. They are places where students of all ages go to learn.
  • Police and Fire Departments: These departments are responsible for public safety. Police departments handle law enforcement and community safety, while fire departments focus on fire prevention, emergency response, and rescue operations.
  • Courts and Voting Places: Courts handle legal matters, from traffic tickets to major cases. Voting places are where people go to vote in elections. Examples include local courthouses and community centers used during elections.
  • Hospitals and Libraries: Hospitals provide medical care and health services to the community. Libraries offer access to books, resources, and educational programs. Examples include public clinics and county libraries.
  • Parks and Buses: This category includes city and state parks where people can enjoy outdoor activities and public transit systems like buses and trains that help people travel around the city or region. Examples include local city parks and regional bus lines.

Private Companies Working With the Government

Some private companies help the government provide services and they also need to follow these rules. For example:

  • Bus Companies: Private companies contracted to operate city bus services, providing transportation for the public under government regulation.
  • Stores: Businesses such as convenience stores that sell lottery tickets, which are regulated by state governments and contribute to state funds.
  • Schools: Private educational providers contracted by government agencies to offer specific educational services in public schools, such as after-school programs or specialized classes.
  • Health Services: Private hospitals or healthcare providers that manage facilities owned by public entities, such as county hospitals, ensuring that they provide necessary healthcare services.
  • Social Services: Private organizations contracted by the government to deliver social services, such as drug rehabilitation programs or housing assistance.
  • Recreational Services: Companies that manage recreational programs or facilities for the government, such as operating public golf courses or community sports leagues.

Special District Governments

Special district governments are unique, independent entities specifically created to handle certain public services that general-purpose governments may not directly manage. They are governed by rules but have their autonomy, often including their own governing boards and funding mechanisms. Examples of services provided by special districts include:

  • Water and Sewage Districts: Manage and treat water supply and sewage for a community.
  • Fire Protection Districts: Provide specialized fire prevention, firefighting, and emergency response services.
  • Transit Authorities: Operate public transportation systems like buses and trains across specific regions.

Summary

Title II of the ADA covers many different types of public entities beyond just the stereotypical government offices that we think of as state and local governments. As most of these public entities have multiple digital assets, they should begin taking action immediately to ensure they meet the deadline for compliance with the new web rule.

What may surprise many people is that Title II of the ADA can potentially cover many private companies and organizations including non-profits.

Resources

Learn more about how Accessible.org can help you with ADA Title II compliance. We offer audit, remediation, and user testing services to help ensure your digital assets are WCAG 2.1 AA conformant.

We also offer consultation to help you organize and manage your compliance project efficiently and effectively.

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