Website Accessibility Guidelines and AB 434

Some Authority members have recently expressed concern about Assembly Bill 434 (Baker), which deals with website accessibility guidelines. It is important to note that this bill, effective July 1, 2019, applies only to state agencies, not local government agencies. However, the Department of Justice has consistently maintained that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites, so public agencies should ensure that their websites are accessible to those with disabilities. Los Angeles and Orange Counties have both experienced an increase in lawsuits based on websites that are not in compliance with the ADA. For more information on these lawsuits, as well as steps public agencies can take to make their websites accessible, see the article, “ADA Web Accessibility Litigation Is on the Rise,” in the Authority’s February 2019 newsletter.