City Websites Will Be Required to Meet ADA Accessibility Standards

April 29, 2024

The new ADA rule seeks to improve web and mobile app access for people with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been around about as long as the internet. But until recently, the rules surrounding the ADA and access to technology were less clear. The new rule, signed by the United States Attorney General on April 8, adopts a technical standard for web and mobile accessibility to ensure that people with disabilities can better access important public services.

For most cities, this will require significant upgrades to websites, including those you may use with third parties for credit card processing, reservations, or other online service features. The exceptions to the rules are mostly surrounding content posted before the effective dates. The size of the city or the cost to make the upgrades will not generally be defendable reasons for not complying with the rules.  


Cities with populations less than 50,000, as well as special district governments, will have to comply beginning on April 26, 2027.

Cities with a population of 50,000 or more will have to follow the rule’s requirements beginning on April 24, 2026.

This means that web content and mobile apps will have to generally meet the technical standard in the rule by these dates and on an ongoing basis after these dates. In the meantime, cities must provide people with disabilities equal access to their services, programs, and activities offered via the web and mobile apps in accordance with existing ADA Title II obligations.

Because of the significant amount of work most entities will have to do to adhere to the new standards, we encourage cities to start making plans now for implementation.

WCAG Version 2.1 AA standard

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.1, Level AA is the technical standard for state and local governments’ web content and mobile apps. WCAG is a set of guidelines that say what is needed for web accessibility, such as requirements for captions for videos. WCAG is developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.

View an overview on WCAG. 


The League of Minnesota Cities is working with federal, state, and business partners to ensure cities have the information, training, and resources to make the changes necessary to follow ADA rules. We will share resources as they become available.

For a high-level summary of the final rule, read the fact sheet. The official version of the full rule in the Federal Register.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to issue a Small Entity Compliance Guide to assist small state and local governments in complying with the rule.

To learn more about the ADA, visit or call the DOJ’s toll-free ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-833-610-1264 (TTY).

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