Department of Justice (DOJ) Rule.

How Allyant addresses the DOJ’s enhanced accessibility government rule for documents, websites, and mobile apps.

Websites, Mobile Apps, and Documents.

Summary of the DOJ’s New Requirements.

  1. Technical Standards: The accepted rule mandates the adoption of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, Level AA as the technical standard for digital content.
  2. Web Content and Mobile Apps: Websites, mobile apps, and electronic documents must comply with the technical standard. Note: According to the DOJ’s fact sheet, “‘Web content’ is the information and experiences available on the web, like text, images, sound, videos, and documents.”
  3. Exceptions with Limitations: While the rule includes exceptions for certain types of content, such as archived materials and some existing third-party content, these exceptions are now accompanied by limitations to ensure their appropriate application.
  4. Effective Communication: State and local governments must provide effective communication and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities upon request.
  5. Compliance Timeline: State and local governments are expected to comply with the technical standard within two to three years after the final rule is published, depending on their population size.

Ground-Breaking Decision.

Digital Accessibility Support Expanded.

In a ground-breaking decision, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has finalized a rule to enhance digital accessibility. The rule affects state and local governments, including government agencies, courts, and schools. Government agencies use website content, mobile applications (apps), and the documents hosted on those websites to deliver essential products and services.

However, the lack of accessibility on digital platforms has posed significant barriers for people with disabilities, hindering their access to critical government services and limiting their participation in civic engagement.

This rule not only addresses these challenges and provides clear guidelines for complying with the ADA, but it also updates the ADA to clarify the requirements, specifically mentioning WCAG 2.1, Level AA.

In government-funded public schools (K-12 and some higher ed), it is mandatory to identify and provide appropriate education for students with disabilities, as per the current Department of Education regulations. With the new rule announced on April 9th, 2024, the DOJ builds upon these existing obligations but does not replace them. It emphasizes the need to continuously comply with all applicable laws.

Collective Dedication to Inclusivity.

The Rule-Making Process.

This rule represents the final stage of the rule-making process initiated in July 2023, integrating feedback from various stakeholders, including influential entities like Allyant. Along with key team members, Allyant’s Director of Accessibility, Aaron Page, provided valuable feedback and first-hand experience on what the lack of digital accessibility means to a person with disabilities.

Adopting this rule emphasizes the collective dedication to nurturing an inclusive society where access to information and services is regarded not as a privilege but as a fundamental human right.

Everybody Wins.

What the New Rule Addresses.

  • Barriers to Access: Inaccessible websites, mobile apps, and the documents that live within them, have previously prevented individuals with disabilities from accessing crucial government services and online information, such as absentee ballots and tax resources.
  • Limited Participation: The lack of accessibility has hindered individuals with disabilities from fully participating in civic events and community programs, including town meetings and school-related activities.
  • Need for Clarity: The accepted rule now provides state and local governments with clear guidance on ADA compliance regarding digital and electronic document accessibility, ensuring equitable access for people with disabilities.

Important Links

Office of Public Affairs at the DOJ

Here are some important links to help you navigate the new rule.

Your Accessibility Partner.

Let’s Make Accessibility Work Together.

Title II of the ADA mandates that state and local governments ensure accessibility of their services, activities, and programs for individuals with disabilities. This encompasses various technologies such as websites, mobile apps, electronic documents, and communication forms, all essential for providing equal access to government services and information.

The acceptance of this rule marks a significant milestone in improving accessibility and inclusivity in digital government services, including electronic documents. By adopting clear technical standards and providing limited exceptions, state and local governments can ensure equitable access for individuals with disabilities while addressing practical considerations. Compliance with these guidelines will not only enhance accessibility but also uphold the principles of equal opportunity and participation for all members of society.

Allyant is dedicated to simplifying accessibility, inclusivity, and compliance for all digital properties. Join us in our mission towards accessibility excellence. Schedule your personalized demo of Allyant’s suite of solutions today, and let’s embark on this journey together!

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