ADA Compliant Websites
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Why Should My Website Be ADA Compliant?
In short, to avoid a lawsuit!
The Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) require that businesses and organizations that offer goods and/or services to the public must make sure that these services are easily enjoyed by those with disabilities. In recent years, this law has been interpreted to apply to all web-based and electronic content as well, requiring that websites be easily accessible for those who are blind or have low vision. Businesses whose websites fail to comply with this standard are vulnerable to legal claims that can cost a small fortune in court costs and legal settlements.
Lawsuits are being filed regularly and many more are expected
Unfortunately, some people and law firms they hire are making money by filing lawsuits against businesses whose websites are not compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) standards. More importantly, a major legal precedent has been set with the ruling against the national grocery chain, Winn Dixie. Moreover, several Federal judges are finding that:
“(1) websites are subject to the ADA, regardless of whether the goods and services are offered online and in physical locations; and"
"(2) courts don’t need agency regulations setting a standard for website accessibility to decide whether a website violates the ADA.”
Business owners threatened with lawsuits are obligated to pay for an attorney, pay to fix their website, and likely pay additional fees to settle the case out of court. It is expensive, stressful and time-consuming. Businesses large and small are being targeted. The minimum average costs associated with these lawsuits is around $50,000. Larger companies have incurred expenses from $100,000 to $6,000,000.
News Articles on ADA Compliance
Lawyers cash in on suits demanding ADA-compliant Websites.
The New York Post
More Reasons Why Your Website Should Be ADA Compliant
You Are Likely
Internet shopping has enhanced the quality of life for many people with disabilities because of convenience, considering most have limited ability to travel. As of 2015, there were approximately 285,000,000 people who are visually impaired. This does not include other disabilities that could hinder users from shopping online. That is a lot of potential customers. Statistics show that 71% of web users with a disability leave sites that have no accessibility.
It Can Increase
ADA Compliance and Search Engine Optimization complement each other very well. Getting your website in compliance could help you get favorable rankings with Google and other major search engines. One of the primary requirements for accessibility is to ensure there is descriptive text for images and transcripts for video and audio files. This gives Google more information to match with keyword searches, which increases the chance of pages on your website to be returned in search results.
Makes User Experience Better For All
Your website is an extension of your business and represents who you are as an organization or service. Your brand will gain more credibility when you are able to demonstrate that you aim to serve everyone without discrimination. Many accessibility features help your website be much easier to navigate. Having an accessible website not only serves users with a disability, but it makes the user experience better for everyone who lands on your site.
Tax Rebate: Section 44 of the U.S. IRS tax code gives qualifying small businesses a 50% tax rebate for expenses incurred while making their businesses more ADA Compliant. Please contact your accountant for more information.
How Do I Know If My Website Is Compliant?
In order for your website to be compliant, it needs to be accessible to people with disabilities such as blindness, low vision, and hearing loss. The visually impaired need to be able to successfully navigate business websites using screen reader technologies which audibly read the web page content to the user. The hearing impaired should be able to read content from video and audio files. Unfortunately, most websites are not designed to use the technology necessary for their content to be accessible to these individuals.
Here are a few other accessibility requirements:
- All images on the website must have alternate text that can be read by screen reader software.
- Audio-only or video content includes text transcripts or descriptions.
- Appropriate links to media players are provided if required to view content.
- All headings on the pages are placed in logical order.
- The content presented does not rely solely on color.
- The site can be navigated using the keyboard.
- The focus of the keyboard is never stuck on one particular page element.
- No rapidly flashing colors are on the site and there are no strobe lights.
- Keyboard uses skip navigation to quickly access content.
- Each page's language is portrayed in code.
- The user is informed of an invalid form input.
- Screen reader software is able to read labels and legends on forms.
Did your website pass the test?
If so, great news!
If not, the PD/GO team can help.
Using the PD/GO System Version 4, we can create an alternate version of your website that adheres to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). We will do everything we can using the available tools and standards. We strongly suggest that you be proactive on this issue. Getting your website in compliance now will help prevent your website from being a target for attorneys.
We are ready to help.
Examples of PD/GO Accessible Websites:
Look for the link at the top of each website to view the accessible version.