DOJ Final Rule: WCAG 2.1 AA Standards Required Under Title II of ADA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced that the final rule for web and mobile app accessibility for state and local governments is ready (keep reading private website owners, this concerns you as well).

Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, these public entities will need to conform with WCAG 2.1 AA standards for all web content and mobile apps.

WCAG is the acronym for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which are technical standards for web accessibility.

Smaller entities (governments with less than 50,000 population) along with special district governments will have 3 years to comply with the new rule (once published) and larger entities (50,000 or more) will have 2 years to comply.

Importantly, this new Title II regulation will apply to all web content including social media, documents (PDFs, PowerPoints, spreadsheets, Word documents), web pages, and websites as well as mobile apps.

There are 5 exceptions which mostly revolve around preexisting content and content posted by a non-designated third party (e.g., a message posted by a resident on a social media post).

WCAG 2.1 AA conformance has been a best practice for years, but now it has finally become formally required under the law.

Title III Regulation

Even though this regulation applies only to state and local governments, private website owners should pay close attention because they’re next.

It’s very likely we see very similar requirements carried forward when the DOJ publishes regulation under Title III which will apply to places of public accommodation.

Good News

The great news is the DOJ is providing ample time for a compliance deadline. I highly, highly recommend everyone take advantage of this as a way of deferring the cost of digital accessibility.

Full WCAG conformance is not a project you can wait until the last minute on. A very quick timeline for most websites is 3 months. Most projects where website owner/operators take on remediation (fixing the issues) last over 6 months.

Also, if nothing else, the ongoing and unrelenting website accessibility litigation that currently exists should spur action.


If you would like to start training for you or your digital team on WCAG 2.1 AA requirements, sign up for my WCAG Course at

The course contains lessons (with video and text explanations) for each success criterion where I talk through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in easy to understand language.

Also, if you would like to learn about audit, remediation, and user testing services that can take care of WCAG 2.1 AA conformance for you, visit — this is my small business where I help organizations of all sizes with accessibility.