A lot of things have changed since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect July 26, 1990. The landmark legislation created clear rules to help people with disabilities access buildings, use public transportation and even place a phone call.
What didn’t the ADA include in 1990? Any reference to digital accessibility.
Take this quiz to find out why and learn more about the history of the ADA and its evolving impact on digital accessibility.
The answer is C, less than 1 percent. Yes. You heard that right. Fewer than one in 100 people had online access in 1990. With the web in its infancy, there was no clear-cut guidance on digital requirements upon the passage of the ADA.
The answer is D, all of the above: devices, products and environments. Digital accessibility applies to websites, mobile applications, software and other digital environments. The ADA mandated that public and private spaces be made accessible when it passed in 1990 – and over time, the courts have determined that digital spaces be included.
The answer is B, 1999. In May 1999, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 were established. A first step in establishing guidelines for accessibility on the web, WCAG 1.0 focused mainly on HTML.
The answer is C, 62%. That compares to 81% of those without a disability, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey – a divergence that underscores the impact of the digital divide on people with disabilities.
The answer is A, True. In fact, 96.8% of website homepages analyzed continue to have issues making them unusable by people with disabilities. This was a slight improvement from 97.4% in 2021 and 98.1% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Internet Accessibility.
Digital accessibility makes a difference. Imagine for a moment if you were unable to get a webpage to come up that you needed to do your job, make a purchase or pay a bill. It’s a fact of life for many of the 61 million people with a disability in the United States.
Thankfully, as the ADA has aged, efforts have established usability standards to help the disabled community get the same internet access that everyone else enjoys. At 32, the ADA continues evolving to include requirements for digital accessibility.