In 1990, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. It is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability.
In June 2003, Section 508 and Title II were introduced, in recognition of how the Internet was transforming interactions between the public and governmental entities. The Department of Justice published Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities, to provide state and local government guidance on how to make their websites accessible. The goal of this is to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to the services, programs, and activities that are provided through those websites.
In 2010, the DOJ published an update ANPRM version titled Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations. This was the first attempt to include website accessibility enforcement.
Fast forward to today, after multiple updates to the laws, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have been developed. WCAG 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.
The cost of inaccessible digital properties is not limited to the technical costs associated with remediating the software. In many cases for websites that do not comply with these guidelines, the cost of the legal battle and brand damage far exceed the cost of remediation.