October 7, 2015

Accessible Documents and Legal Compliance

There are a number of laws in the United States supporting individuals with visual disabilities that have been around for quite some time now. You’ve probably heard about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Title III and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 504 and 508. Ultimately, these laws are there to ensure that people with all levels of ability are able to access all public accommodations, which include any and all communication documents you provide to the public. These laws have been around for decades now, but one stipulation of these laws is that they must adapt as technology advances.

The Internet was barely invented when either of these laws was written. More and more organizations communicate with the public through their website, so with the Section 508 Notice for Proposed Rule Making the government acknowledges websites as places of public accommodation now. This means that your website needs to be WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant and all of your online documents need to be in an accessible format so individuals with print disabilities are able to use screen reader technology to read a document the same way a sighted person would.

Recently, lawsuits have been filed against companies such as Target, Peapod, and Scribd as well as non-profits including the American Cancer Society and Youngstown State University regarding online accessibility. It is critical to act now to achieve accessibility compliance.

CrawfordTech’s Document Accessibility Services team is here to help organizations fight to stay compliant and overcome legal issues you might already be facing. We are also advocating for individuals with low or no vision that might find it difficult to request what they need.

At our facility in Potsdam, NY, our expert accessibility staff will reformat your original document into a master transform file to facilitate transcription into any requested format. We can produce braille, large print, eText, audio formats, but most importantly, accessible PDF to be displayed on your accessible website.