Here are the specific laws and guidelines that govern web accessibility and discrimination of people with disabilities.

Discrimination laws & Guidelines

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


This is the first law that made it unlawful to discriminate against persons with disabilities. Title II of the ADA specifically pertains to higher ed institutions and requires all state and local governments to give persons with disabilities equal access to their programs, services, and activities.

NC Persons with Disabilities Protection Act—168A-7

NC Persons with Disabilities Protection Act—168A-7

This follows Title II of the ADA and prohibits government entities (including higher ed institutions) from excluding individuals from participating in or denying benefits of services, programs, or activities because of a person’s disability.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (last updated 2017)

Section 508

This requires federal agencies (including higher ed institutions) to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities, and it must be comparable to the access that is available to those without disabilities. It applies to all federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504

This stipulates that it is unlawful for federal agencies, programs, or activities to discriminate against people with disabilities; these entities must provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

WCAG 2.1

WCAG were created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). They are a set of guidelines developed to determine the accessibility of web pages. First established in 1999, WCAG have been updated twice, with the latest update occurring in June of 2018.