Web Accessibility Legislation in Illinois
See how your website stacks up compared to web accessibility legislation in Illinois.
An Overview of Legislation in Illinois
The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) requires Illinois agencies and universities to ensure that their web sites, information systems, and information technologies are accessible to people with disabilities.
IITAA standards are based on Section 508 and WCAG 2.0. The law went into effect in 2008, and was most recently reviewed in November of 2020, where compliance with WCAG 2.1 was encouraged.
While the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act already require the State to ensure accessibility, the IITAA establishes a set of specific standards and encourages a more proactive approach to addressing accessibility barriers.
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What You Need To Know About Web Accessibility In Illinois
Are there any other requirements related to the IITAA?
On September 2,2021 Illinois House Bill 26 (HB26) was signed into law. The legislation was designed to ensure that digital content on third-party curriculum used in K-12 schools is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.
To comply with the new law, Illinois K-12 school districts were required to ensure that their websites or web services were in harmony with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 by August 1, 2022.
Who do the IITAA’s requirements apply to?
While HB26 specifically applies to Illinois school districts, the IITAA’s requirements apply to all agencies, departments, and divisions of the state executive branch, the state legislative branch, the state judicial branch, as well as all constitutional offices, and public universities.
What are the penalties for non-conformance with the IITAA or HB26?
If your website is found to be non compliant with IITAA standards, you can potentially face both lawsuits and fines. If your organization receives government funding, this may also be revoked if your website is found to be in violation of the IITAA’s requirements.
As of August 1st, 2022, K-12 schools who have not yet implemented accessible online learning platforms that meet existing ADA and Section 504 requirements will face penalties, which may include fines and/or costly remediations.
A Few Landmark Website Accessibility Cases in Illinois
Reed v. Kmart, Empire Today and Ace Hardware
Three Illinois companies were accused of maintaining websites that visually impaired consumers cannot use, in violation of the ADA.
Domino’s Pizza v. Guillermo Robles
A case was brought against the pizza chain by a blind man who found himself unable to order food on their website.
Muhammad v. Mountain Warehouse Outdoor Inc.
A lawsuit was filed against Mountain Warehouse Inc. in 2020 alleging that their website was inaccessible for disabled visitors.