The Americans with Disabilities Act began in 1990 as an effort to end discriminating against someone with a disability. Although, the ADA was focused upon mandating employers to give certain accommodations to their employees with disabilities, it has been extended to providing equal access to resources. Through extension, precedent is now being applied to websites meaning that they need to be accessible for those whose lives are affected by common physical, hearing or seeing disabilities. The ADA doesn’t specifically mention websites or address online compliance. However, in September 2018 the Department of Justice reaffirmed that ADA applies to websites of public accommodations. You can read that letter here. Thus, the importance of creating ADA compliance websites has become critical for businesses to avoid legal exposure and risk.
Why Should I be Concerned About ADA Compliance?
Beyond the obvious desire to make sure all people can access and properly use a website, avoiding ADA-related lawsuits is another reason businesses should take notice. The number of lawsuits related to the subject have drastically increased over the years. Just from 2018 to 2019, the number of lawsuits increased by 200%. The vast majority of cases – upwards of 95%! – settle out of court for $20,000 to $150,000 on average.
What to Specifically Do for ADA Compliance
There is not a legally defined roadmap to ensure ADA compliance for websites, but there are a handful of helpful guides, including WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) from W3C. WCAG standards have been the trusted accessibility procedures since 1999, with having recent updates in 2018. A website owner could potentially leverage the WCAG guidelines in an effort to bring a website up to AA or AAA level. These guidelines use the simple acronym P.O.U.R. as follows:
- Perceivable issues impact a user’s ability to locate and process information on a website.
- Operable issues are ones that affect a person’s ability to easily navigate a website: making sure all functions work, such as commands that use only keyboards.
- Understandable problems are those that help a user comprehend and use the information and navigation on a website.
- Robust issues take into consideration the ability for a website to adapt to changes but is still user-friendly for those with disabilities.
Going the self-service route is time consuming and requires not only design, but programming knowledge in order to comply with many of the guidelines. In addition, the DIY approach leaves you alone in knowing whether you’ve taken the steps needed to truly avoid litigation, or at least severely limit liability. You can’t give yourself a certificate of accessibility.
An Effective & Affordable Solution
After navigating the ADA matrix and handling the mitigation of government and commercial websites, we’ve developed a best practices and efficient approach. It by-passes a lot of the confusion of compliance and provides an AI approach to ensure ongoing adherence to legal standards. In fact, our software will provide you with an accessibility statement and certificate. In addition, we’ve assembled this at a price point that is an incredible deal. Click HERE to learn more about our ADA remediation and adherence toolkit.
Does ADA Compliance REALLY Matter?
Still not convinced it’s worth the trouble? Here are a few reasons why you need to ensure your website is ADA compliant.
- ADA compliance increases web traffic. Consider the thousands or millions of views you’re missing out on because not everyone is able to access your site because of their disability. They may be ready to purchase something on your site but they aren’t able to because it’s only usable for those without disabilities. They will move on to a competitor who can meet their needs.
- It could build or keep your reputation. One of the last things you want is for someone to feel discriminated against because they aren’t able to access your website. Build good will with those living with visual and cognitive disabilities.
- Avoid lawsuits and expensive court costs. How would an unexpected bill of $20,000 (at minimum!) plus attorney fees affect your business?
- Being ADA compliant will create a better user experience for all. Having a website that is more operable and user-friendly will in the end benefit all visitors to your site.
There is no better time than now to become ADA compliant. Our comprehensive web accessibility tool uses high end technology to make and keep your site compliant. We also handle all updates to the software we use. Once we install our ADA compliance tool, it will do a full scan of your website and adjust accordingly. Every 24 hours, new website content is scanned as well. Our software is continually updated to comply with ADA Title III and WCAG 2.1 guidelines, so you know it will never be out of date.
Contact us to make your website ADA compliant today!
Watch our video to learn more!