The First U.S. Web Accessibility Agreement was Signed Twenty Years Ago this Week

Twenty years ago this week (on March 14, 2000) Bank of America became the first company in the United States to sign an agreement to make its website accessible to people with disabilities. The agreement referenced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 at a time when the standard was less than one year old. (WCAG had its own 20th anniversary on May 5 2019.)

Bank of America’s historic commitment was the result of a Structured Negotiation between the bank and the California Council of the Blind (CCB) and five blind bank customers: Don Brown, Nicaise Dogbo, Bernice Kandarian, Jerry Kuns, and Roger Peterson.

The agreement and the negotiations leading up to it (no lawsuit needed!) created a strong foundation for the bank’s continuing leadership role in digital accessibility. And it began a twenty-year relationship between the bank and the blind community that reflects the power of collaboration in resolving disability rights claims.

Bank of America’s lawyer Brian Frumkin is one of the (many) reasons the bank has maintained its accessibility leadership role over the year. Here’s what he has to say about the 20th anniversary of the country’s first web accessibility agreement:

Bank of America is [...]

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