Frequently Asked Questions for the  Twenty-First Century Mobile Apps and Website Accessibility Act

What is screen reading software?

A screen reader is a form of access technology that renders text and image content as speech or Braille output. Screen readers are software applications that attempt to convey what sighted people see on a display to their users via nonvisual means, like text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille device.

What are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are developed through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Are any websites required to comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard?

Yes. The Section 508 update, which went into effect for federal agencies and contractors on January 18, 2018, requires websites to meet the WCAG 2.0 standard. 

Does the U.S. Access Board have experience promulgating website regulations?

Yes. In January 2017, the U.S. Access Board promulgated a final rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Which websites will be covered?

The websites of employers, state and local governments, and places of public accommodation will be covered.

Does federal law already require websites to be accessible?

Yes. In general, the ADA already requires ADA Title, I, II, and III entities to make their mobile apps and websites accessible to people with disabilities.

Are companies in favor of website regulations?

Yes. In general, companies want regulatory clarity regarding website accessibility.

Where can I learn more about this legislation?

For more information, please contact Jeff Kaloc, government affairs specialist at the National Federation of the Blind, by email at jkal[email protected] or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2206.