Home / States / A Guide to Understanding ADA Compliance In Massachusetts
Danny Trichter
Author
Hina Ilyas
Researcher
#ADAcompliance #Massachusetts #webaccessibility
February 23, 2022
5 minutes

A Guide to Understanding ADA Compliance In Massachusetts

Building an ADA-compliant website in Massachusetts creates a more inclusive community while also helping your business avoid costly lawsuits.

The Americans with Disabilities Act creates equal opportunities for people living with disabilities, ensuring they can participate in everyday life. This includes communications, transportation, employment opportunities, and more.

Several states have devised and adapted their laws and rules to make sure persons with special needs have access to websites in the same way that everyone else does.

In this guide, we will discuss ADA compliance in Massachusetts. Read on to learn how to protect your brand and become a more socially responsible business.

Overview of ADA Compliance in Massachusetts

A number of website accessibility lawsuits have been filed in Massachusetts courts, with a dramatic increase occurring in 2018. This is a 177% increase in the approximate 800 lawsuits filed in 2017.

In the US, ADA-related cases have been filed in 14 states, with Florida and New York having the highest numbers. 

The New York federal website accessibility lawsuit numbers are particularly alarming. What’s more, these cases were mainly brought forward by just a handful of lawyers who frequently appeared on these filings. 

Some of the most notable cases included lawsuits filed against Five Guys and Blick Art. These filings brought ADA lawsuit numbers close to those seen in California. 

For a number of years now, most states, including Massachusetts, have put requirements and regulations in place to deal with ADA violations

Laws, Rules, and Regulations Prevalent in Massachusetts

ADA Lawsuits Rate in California

The state of Massachusetts has decided that accessibility is an important requirement for all public accommodations. 

The state has adopted and based many of its accessibility standards on those implemented in other US states. You can read through these standards and guidelines in this article on how to build an ADA compliance website.

There is also a Massachusetts website that outlines the standards that website owners need to meet. It was developed by the Massachusetts Information Technology Division (ITD). 

The standards are mainly based on Section 508 that also includes elements from the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Popular Website Accessibility Lawsuits in Massachusetts

Web accessibility has become a great concern for many businesses in recent years. Here are some of the most well-known lawsuits in Massachusetts.

Sportswear Inc.

A popular lawsuit in Massachusetts is linked to Sportswear, Inc. This company was sued by Access Now because the site wasn’t accessible in the state. 

They tried to dismiss the case since less than 4% of their yearly revenue was generated in Massachusetts. What’s more, the product line has always been available to consumers in Massachusetts. 

Netflix closed captioning

Another popular Massachusetts case was linked to the Netflix Watch Instantly service. It was stated that the service did not comply with closed captioning and failed to provide other features for individuals with hearing impairments.

The case proved that all website owners must observe ADA Massachusetts compliance standards, ensuring anyone has the option to access products and services online.

Technological solutions like closed captioning can be made available at a cost if need be. Doing so can instantly increase your customer base.

How Massachusetts Businesses Can Make Their Websites Accessible

The accessibility laws of Massachusetts must be applied by every state agency and its hired contractors who are working to develop applications and websites. 

Web content like audio and videos are very useful for users who find it difficult to read and prefer different media options to gather information.

An audience that cannot access audio media on a site, especially those with visual impairments, may miss out on essential information.

To solve this problem, businesses must:

  • Provide audio files that synchronize with visual media
  • Provide users with control over audio
  • Provide video captions 

Other compliance tips from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors:

Links
  • Create a description of where a specific link points to
  • State a downloadable document’s size and type
Colors
  • Maintain the right color contrast ratio
  • Color should not be used to convey information
Fillable Forms
  • Forms require labels next to each field
Images
  • All images require alt text
  • Must be flexible with screen orientation
  • Use text instead of text images if an image is not a logo
Navigation
  • A site must be navigable using a keyboard alone
  • Does not have time limits
  • Every page needs a distinct title
  • Offer multiple ways to find information
Text
  • Can be accessed in different languages
  • Text size can be increased without distortion

Third-party websites from providers that can be used are:

Audioeye: Our top recommendation
  • WCAG
  • ADA
  • AODA
  • Section 508 Compliant

This semi-automated solution combines AI algorithms with IAAP-certified experts to help you achieve full DDA compliance – all at an affordable rate too.

AudioEye’s algorithms are patented and designed to alter most of your site’s code. The rest of the changes are manually implemented by industry experts.

We believe it’s this unique combination that sets the brand apart from competitors who can only help you achieve partial compliance, leaving you at risk of lawsuits.

Pros

  • Improves your site’s accessibility score by an average of 25 points
  • 20+ Experts with IAAP Certifications
  • Accessibility statement and certification included
  • Litigation support packages available

Cons

  • Focused on USA and Canadian Markets

Existing Clients

Wrapping Up the Massachusetts ADA Code

Applying the knowledge you learned in this guide can help you start and manage a successful business in Massachusetts. It can also protect you from potential lawsuits and you’ll have a website that can serve all customers, regardless of ability.

To start your web accessibility journey, it helps to audit your website to identify issues and learn how to fix them. You can do this on Accessibility Checker

Found this blog useful? Please check out our other informative guides here:

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