Web Accessibility Legislation in Virginia
See how your website stacks up compared to web accessibility legislation in Virginia.
An Overview of Legislation in Virginia
508 accessibility standards apply to the state of Virginia’s full range of public-facing content, including websites, documents and media, blog posts, and social media sites.
Virginia’s Information Technology Access Act defines ‘‘access’’ as the ability to receive, use, and manipulate data and operate controls included in information technology.
The information in this article is made available by Monsido ApS and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates and is for informational purposes only so as to provide its customers with a general understanding of current legal developments. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between you or any third party and Monsido ApS and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed lawyer in your jurisdiction.
What You Need To Know About Web Accessibility In Virginia
Are there any other requirements related to web accessibility law in Virginia?
VITA has quite specific closed captioning requirements. Their web standards state that:
"Captions must allow Web audio and video to be perceivable to those who do not have access to audio, and understandable to a wider audience. Section 508 [1194.22 (b)], which is a part of the Virginia Web Site Standard, states that, “Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.”
Captions should be:
- 1. Synchronized: the text content should appear at approximately the same time that audio would be available.
- 2. Equivalent: content provided in captions should be equivalent to that of the spoken word.
- 3. Accessible: caption content should be readily accessible and available to those who need it.
Who do Virginia’s accessibility laws apply to?
Updated Section 508 accessibility standards apply to all Virginia state agencies, colleges, and universities.
All public-facing businesses with an online presence are required to comply with web accessibility standards and guidelines in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
What are the penalties for non-conformance?
The 1998 amendment of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that websites that are not accessible to persons with disabilities will face civil action. It is important to note, however, that an exemption exists for instances where compliance would cause an undue burden (i.e. financial hardship).
A Few Landmark Cases in Virginia
Carroll V. Peoples Bank, Inc.
A lawsuit was filed against the Virginia bank alleging that their website was inaccessible to disabled visitors.
Mejio V. Alba Web Designs, LLC
A district court in West Virginia held that web-only businesses are subject to the ADA.
Virginia Credit Union Lawsuits
Nine Virginia credit unions were sued over their website’s alleged inaccessibility to the visually impaired.