A Web Developer and Small Business Owner’s Perspective: ADA and WCAG Website Accessibility
Is your business website American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant yet?
To consider this question, take a look at the following info on federal requirements for making websites accessible and download our free ADA Cheatsheet. Note, this information is provided only an informational basis and GOsustainably makes no claim to provide legal advice of any kind. We strongly recommend you consult with an attorney for the most current and relevant guidelines for your business. That said, this is a great place to start thinking about these important concerns.
Background Information on Law Related to Website Compliance Under the American Disabilities Act
The ADA Federally prohibits discrimination based on disability. Enacted in 1990, the ADA ensures all people in the United States receive equal accommodation, regardless of an individual’s unique physical or mental ability or impairment.
Websites of all businesses providing public accommodation must be accessible for disabled (differently abled) persons. This has been true since 2003 when the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) took the stance.
Those who fail to comply are increasingly faced with ADA lawsuits. These ADA Website lawsuits are based on discriminatory inaccessibility of websites, specifically to people with a visual or hearing impairment.
While ADA requirements in physical stores can be easier to understand, as ecommerce grows, retailers and businesses must accept the responsibility of adhering to the technical requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA. Changes to a business’ website design and content with adaptive technology and image-reading software, can give equal access to get information, make purchases and find services.
Do you want to reach a larger audience? Are you worried about the risk of ADA demand letters and lawsuits?
1. Everyone should be able to use the web. Imagine trying to conduct business and your personal life with out being able to use the Internet. These days, that’s not only inconvenient, it’s an economic and social disadvantage. Billions of people around the world live with disabilities; many are unable to participate in everyday activities. With over 57 million in the United States living with disabilities today, devices such as computers, tablets, and smart-phones that could help to improve the quality of life, often become a source of frustration. ADA Website Compliance levels the playing field so everyone can access the information, services, products, personal enrichment and entertainment the web has to offer.
2. Not being compliant is a financial liability for your company. A recent wave of lawsuits and demand letters alleging businesses or companies are violating Title III of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been hitting web-based businesses across the United States. In the first six months of 2018 alone, Plaintiffs filed more website accessibility lawsuits in Federal Court, than in all of 2017. With California leading the top 10 states for ADA Title III Federal lawsuits Jan-June 2018. Industries targeted by these lawsuits vary widely and include:
- Clothing and Apparel Stores
- Telecommunications Companies
- Consumer Goods
- E-Commerce Stores
3. There is an opportunity for growing your client or customer base by optimizing your site for differently-abled people. A pro-active approach to making your website ADA compliant can help you gain new, loyal sources of revenue.
Contact GOsustainably.com for more info and to get a solution in place to make your website accessible now.
GOsustainably DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE
The information contained here, and the Accessibility Tool and Solutions we offer should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice.