ADA CAPTCHA: Does CAPTCHA Need to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards?

Among general accessibility standards, the US Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 regulations is especially important – it is a civil law with a broad scope, defining ADA standards for residential dwelling units, medical care facilities, rail station platforms etc. and focusing on preventing discrimination against US citizens with disabilities.

However, ADA does not (up to this moment) include any IT and Web-specific standards that a Captcha-protected form can be evaluated against, so "ADA Captcha" is currently legally undefined. While the general principles of ADA – avoiding discrimination of people with disabilities – can and should also be considered in Captcha implementations, there are no precisely defined standards to examine in detail and evaluate potential implementations against.

This means there is no way to make Captcha comply with ADA using the letter of the law. However, it is possible to make Captcha obey the spirit of the law that lies behind ADA standards: webmasters who want to ensure accessibility of their forms which use Captcha to prevent automated submissions should focus on the web-centric requirements of Access Board Section 508 (US Federal law) and W3C WCAG (general web accessibility).

Strict Standards: CAPTCHA Accessibility