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Are You Responsible for Third Party Accessibility Compliance

Are You Responsible for Third Party ADA/Web Accessibility Compliance?

 

Its extremely common for websites to utilize third party widgets, plug-ins, and systems that may present ADA legal exposure to you.

 

Web Accessibility Compliance Rule of Thumb

 

Generally the rule of thumb is that if you’re looking at the page with the item in question and the url includes your domain, then its part of your website and is therefore your problem.

You cannot offload liability onto vendors (including your developer) or third parties if it lives within your www.domain.com.

 

Let’s look at an Example

 

A common example would be a booking engine on a hospitality website.  Here are two different scenarios that would be treated differently to determine which would be responsible for Web Accessibility Compliance.

In Example 1, the booking engine has a widget where, you pick your check in dates.  When you hit submit, you’re then taken to a separate website:

yourcompany.bookingengine.com or bookingengine.com/yourcompany.  In either case, you’ve been taken to a separate site, so with exception to the little booking widget residing on your site, any off-site accessibility issues are those of bookingengine.com.

 

In Example 2, when you submit your checkin and departure dates, you’re taken to:

booking.yourwebsite.com or yourwebsite.com/booking.  In this case, the booking engine lives within your domain.  Therefore, its ADA conformity is your problem. 

 

Becoming ADA / Web Accessibility Compliant

 

Audit for Compliance

 

As part of an ADA/WCAG compliance audit, these paths would be identified.  With this knowledge you would need to either work with these companies to make their systems ADA / Web Accessibility Compliant, or you will have to find a new vendor who is ADA / Web Accessibility Compliant.

 

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