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What is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)?

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prohibits any discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel and requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities. The Department of Transportation (DoT) in recent years amended additional steps to address the accessibility of air carrier websites, kiosks and service animals. The DoT also issued a rule applying to all U.S. and foreign airlines with flights to or from the United States, defining the rights of passengers and the obligations of airlines under this law. The ACAA has made air travel possible for anyone despite one’s disability or condition:

  • Airlines may not refuse transportation to people on the basis of disability. Airlines may exclude anyone from a flight if carrying the person would be inimical to the safety of the flight. If a carrier excludes a person with a disability on safety grounds, the carrier must provide a written explanation of the decision.
  • Air carriers may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling. Carriers may require up to 48 hours in advance notice for certain accommodations that require preparation time.
  • Carriers may not limit the number of persons with disabilities on a flight.
  • Airlines may not require a person with a disability to travel with another person, except in certain limited circumstances where the rule permits the airline to require a safety assistant. If a passenger with a disability and the airline disagree about the need for a safety assistant, the airline can require the assistant, but cannot charge for the transportation of the assistant.

 The U.S. and international air carriers carrying flights or selling services in or to the U.S are also required to ensure that the content of their public-facing websites complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. Core air travel services and information must be compliant:

  • Booking or changing a reservation (including all flight amenities);
  • Checking-in for a flight;
  • Accessing a personal travel itinerary;
  • Accessing the status of a flight;
  • Accessing a personal frequent flyer account;
  • Accessing flight schedules; and
  • Accessing carrier contact information.

 In addition, the website must be tested in consultation with individuals with disabilities or members of a disability organization(s) who use or want to use carrier websites to research or book air transportation in order to obtain their feedback on the website’s accessibility and usability. This consultation is required to ensure that the website is usable by individuals with disabilities.

An evaluation can also be done by a team of web accessibility experts, to identify barriers and deliver a  solution that ensures equal functionality for all and to fulfill ADA compliance.

How do I Ensure Compliance with the ACAA?

AudioEye will help you achieve digital accessibility and compliance quickly and easily, significantly reducing your legal risk and ensuring compliance with the ACAA. Using patented technology and a team of subject matter experts, AudioEye works closely with your organization to efficiently fix barriers and optimize access, and we don’t stop there. Our solution provides ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure digital content continues to meet and exceed accessibility standards.

What is the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)?

In 2010, President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) into law. The purpose is to update accessibility laws from the 1980s and 90s and make them current with today’s technology. CVAA promotes equitable use for people with disabilities and strives to ensure equal access to communication services and video programming.

The CVAA has been broken into two categories, Title I and Title II.

Title I of the CVAA focuses on the accessibility of communication. The CVAA requires that web browsers on mobile devices be accessible to people who have visual impairments, including people who are blind. Under CVAA, advanced communications services and products must be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes, for example, video communications, e-mail, text and instant messaging.

The CVAA has added and updated pre-existing definitions in the industry to comply with current technological capabilities. Another component of CVAA, the Hearing Aid Compatibility Mandate, requires that certain devices be hearing-aid compliant; this includes wireless headphones and telephones in the workplace and in the public, as well as emergency phones. The definition of Telecommunication Relay Service was also updated to include people who are deaf-blind and to acknowledge and allow a different type of relay users to communicate.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been authorized under the CVAA to make sure that 9-1-1 services will be accessible to people with disabilities.

Title II of the CVAA focuses on the accessibility of video programming, which has a direct bearing on website accessibility for individuals with disabilities. As an initial component, Title II focuses on the FCC under the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau. The CVAA reinstates rules that the FCC made in the early 2000s about video descriptions. The FCC had previously issued a rule requiring Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) and broadcasters to carry television programming that includes video descriptions. Taking its lead from and building upon this prior ruling, the Law states that certain MVPDs and broadcasters have to provide the specified 50 hours of programming with video description during primetime for each calendar quarter.

The CVAA also requires that people with disabilities have access to emergency information and closed captioning through “video programming equipment” and devices that measure smaller than 13 inches. To follow suit, the law also requires that cables connecting televisions to source devices must be able to carry (or transmit) emergency and closed captioning information.

How do I Ensure Compliance with the CVAA?

That’s what we’re here for. Navigating the legal landscape of web accessibility can be confusing to say the least. Our team will walk you through the requirements for video, voice and other communication technology as well as solutions to ensure compliance.  

 

What is the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA)?

In 2018, President Trump signed into law the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act or 21st Century IDEA. The Act encourages a digital transformation of federal government services by requiring agencies to modernize their website, which includes ensuring they are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Among other requirements, 21st Century IDEA stipulates that an executive agency that creates a new website or digital service intended for public use has 180 days from enactment to ensure that site, application or service is accessible to individuals with disabilities according to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Existing websites and digital services must comply within one year of enactment.

The Act also requires annual reporting to Congress. That report is to include a list of most viewed or utilized websites and digital services, a prioritized list of assets that require more work in order to be compliant with Section 508, and an estimated cost and schedule to modernize those assets. Agencies must also report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a report of the progress in implementing all digital assets, and provide an annual report made available to the public articulating progress in implementing these requirements.

Who is Required to Comply with the 21st Century IDEA?

This law applies to federal government agencies and impacts the accessibility of their websites and digital services, among other requirements.

How Can I Ensure Compliance with the 21st Century IDEA?

You have a federal agency legacy website in need of accessibility to meet the 21st Century IDEA deadlines and reporting requirements? That’s the beauty of the AudioEye Ally Managed Service solution. We partner with your development team to ensure compliance quickly. No need to scrap your site and start from scratch. Who has time – or money – for that? Our Ally Managed Service begins remediation upon the first day of implementation. Sites maintain substantial conformance with  WCAG 2.1 standards, and our solution is always on so you are never out of compliance.

What is CA AB 434?

In 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California Assembly Bill No. 434 (AB 434). This regulation requires California state agency and entity websites to maintain full accessibility compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria. Each agency must include a certification badge on their website stating that they conform to these standards, or a subsequent version of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. They must also provide a phone number for any inquiries. Additionally, California state agency directors and their chief information officers are required to self-certify their sites are within compliance; these certifications must be signed and published by July 1, 2019, and every other year thereafter.

A state agency is defined as one of the following agencies:

  • Transportation Agency
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
  • Natural Resources Agency
  • California Health and Human Services Agency
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • Department of Food and Agriculture

How Can I Ensure Compliance with CA AB 434?

The AudioEye Ally Managed Service ensures speed to compliance with WCAG 2.1 Level AA success criteria, and we are among the approved vendors on the California Department of Rehabilitation vendors list. Our service is also available through disabled veteran-owned small businesses that have recently become AudioEye authorized resellers.

 

What does a successful ADA Compliance Strategy entail?

ADA Policy can (and should be) expansive to include everything from physical ADA requirements (think ramps and rails) and the broad adoption of universal design principles across the entire organization, to web and digital accessibility requirements, which should cover not only websites and native applications, but also policies that consider such topics as emails, vendor selection, 3rd party content/service providers, assistive technologies, alternative access, help and support, etc.

How is Digital Accessibility related to the ADA?

Title III of the ADA prohibits “… discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations …” Today, many courts are interpreting that to include the Internet. “Digital Accessibility” is about providing equal access to individuals with a range of disabilities. The failure to provide accessible websites excludes millions. It is this exclusion that has led to hundreds of thousands of complaints, legal demand letters and hundreds of federal lawsuits since 2015.

In terms of access, the Internet poses an even bigger problem than the physical world. Every one of the 56.7 million people in the U.S. with a disability cannot realistically attempt to enter / access every physical structure – whether it is accessible or not. However, they can, attempt to access any of the 1.3 billion websites, so the issue of accessibility in the digital world is much greater than in the physical world. Whether physical or digital, people with disabilities are guaranteed equal access under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What is the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

In 2005, the Government of Ontario, Canada, enacted The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) legislation to improve accessibility standards for the citizens of Ontario who have physical and/or mental disabilities. The AODA legislation aims to improve accessibility of goods and services, as well as web-based services, to people with disabilities. The AODA establishes accessible communication and format requirements for people with disabilities while implementing deadlines relative to the size of the institution and sector in which it operates.

What does the AODA Say About Web Accessibility?

The AODA has grouped its accessibility standards for public sector, private and non-profit organizations into five categories:

  • Information and communications
  • Customer service
  • Transportation
  • Employment, and
  • Design of public space

What is AODA Compliance?

Under the AODA, web-based services are considered compliant if they follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

How Do I Become AODA Compliant?

AudioEye’s accessibility solution ensures organizations substantially conform with WCAG 2.1 standards to be AODA compliant. From day one of implementation, our Ally Managed Service begins to identify barriers to access and remediates those barriers. We combine the efficiencies of technology and automation with the human expertise of our testers and engineers. As you make content changes, we ensure your site remains compliant with AODA and all other guidelines and regulations.

What is the California Unruh Civil Rights Act?

In the Unruh Civil Rights Act, or Unruh Act, California legislation prohibits discrimination based on disability. Specifically, the Unruh Civil Rights Act provides protection from discrimination by all business establishments in California, including housing and public accommodations, stating, “All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

Not sure of your online presence complies with the California Unruh Civil Rights Act? AudioEye’s Ally Managed Service gets you compliant and keeps you compliant significantly mitigating your risk of a costly, unnecessary lawsuit.

The Unruh Civil Rights Act applies to all business establishments including, but not limited to:

  • Hotels, motels and accommodations
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Retail establishments
  • Hospitals
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Professional organization and golf clubs
  • Theaters

Various legal precedents have been established stating that businesses with operations in the state of California are required to comply with the requirements of WCAG 2.0, Level AA Success Criteria because of Title III of the ADA and the Unruh Act. Consequently, the Unruh Civil Rights Act has played a vital role in affirming inaccessible websites as discriminatory under the ADA Title III definition of “places of public accommodations.”

How Do I Ensure my Site is Compliant with the Unruh Civil Rights Act?

AudioEye’s solution includes patented technology coupled with a team of subject matter experts to quickly and efficiently identify and remediate risks and errors. Your site will substantially conform with WCAG 2.1 standards, and we don’t stop there. Our solution provides ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure digital content continues to meet and exceed accessibility standards.

 

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

Is your online curriculum and content accessible for children of all abilities? The goal of IDEA is to ensure all children have the same opportunity for education. Our Ally Managed Service and Document Remediation will ensure no child is left behind. 

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, is a federal law that was passed in 1975 ensuring every child with special needs in the U.S. receives equal access to free public education.

More specifically, the primary objectives of IDEA are:

  • To provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities. IDEA requires schools to identify and evaluate students who may have a disability, free of charge for their families. If a student is identified as having a disability, schools must provide them special education and related services to meet their needs.
  • To empower parents when it comes to their child’s education. Under IDEA, parents have specific rights and protections, giving them a say in the decisions the school makes about their child.

 IDEA applies to students from birth through high school graduation or age 21 (whichever comes first) and includes 13 disability categories:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment (including ADHD)
  • Specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and others
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment including blindness

Among the services and support required, IDEA mandates schools provide access to assistive technology, specialized instruction, services such as speech and occupational therapy and accommodations such as extended time on tests.  

Not sure if your digital content complies with IDEA? 

The AudioEye solution puts you on the path to compliance with applicable regulations on day one of implementation. Whether website content or documents in need of accessibility, AudioEye identifies, remediates and monitors all digital assets. And our solution is always on so you’re never out of compliance.

What is the cost of addressing an OCR Complaint?

Addressing, resolving and/or complying with a settlement agreement is burdensome and expensive. Failing to comply with ADA-related requirements resulting in an OCR complaint can cost four or five times more than the cost of remediating an existing site.

In 2015, the Seattle Public Schools received an OCR complaint which ended in a lawsuit that culminated in a landmark settlement agreement for which costs were estimated to exceed $800,000.

Since then, there have been hundreds of OCR complaints filed against K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, including: Harvard, MIT, Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona State University, NYU and many, many more.