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California Passes New Digital Accessibility Law for State Agencies

Written by: Rishi Agrawal

Seal of State of CAAs reported by Seyfarth Shaw’s ADA Title III blog, California has passed legislation requiring websites of state agencies and entities to be digitally accessible. The law, A.B. 434, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, and requires compliance by July 1, 2019. The bill specifically mentions that websites must meet the standards of WCAG 2.0 (or subsequent revisions) at a minimum of the AA success criteria.

On July 1, 2019 and every two years thereafter, the state agency or entity must post a certification from its Director and Chief Information Officer to confirm the website’s compliance with the WCAG requirements.

State agencies and entities are defined under California Government Code § 11546.1(e). A state agency is defined as 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

A state entity is defined as “an entity within the executive branch that is under the direct authority of the Governor.”

As noted in Seyfarth Shaw’s blog, California’s state and local entities are already subject to the federal procurement requirements in Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act. In addition, judges often rule, in lawsuits brought in California, that websites that violate ADA Title III also violate California law, namely the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

What should you do if you receive a demand letter stating that your website is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Or what if you haven’t yet, but you think you may be at risk? Knowing what to expect is extremely important, and could actually help you avoid getting one in the first place.

Over the last 20 years Level Access has worked with countless organizations facing ADA compliance litigation due to inaccessible websites and mobile apps, and this eBook shares what we’ve learned along the way, including what you can expect, how to respond to a demand letter, and tips for negotiating a win-win settlement agreement.

Download the eBook to learn:

  • Who is enforcing the ADA as it pertains to web and mobile accessibility
  • What steps you should take if you receive an ADA Demand Letter
  • Typical accessibility requirements in structured settlements
  • Key areas you can request flexibility in when negotiating a settlement
  • 5  tips for crafting a reasonable – and achievable – remediation and compliance timeline

And for a more in-depth review of the topic, check out the full-length ADA Demand Letters and Settlements – Lessons Learned whitepaper.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.