What Your Website Can’t Do May Cost You

Many businesses invest in engaging content, brand videos and search engine optimization in order to lead traffic to their website and hopefully drive revenue.  But it’s what their websites don’t do that could actually cost them big money.

Website accessibility for the disabled is a growing and litigious issue. According to Sayfarth Shaw LLP’s, an ADA practice, in the first six months of 2018, there were nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits filed in the federal court for alleged website violations. Florida has ranked third among all the states for total ADA Title Three filings.

What is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), came into law in 1990. This civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In all areas of public life including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places open to the general public. The purpose of this law is to ensure that everyone has equal rights and opportunities. When it comes to physical locations, examples of ADA compliance are adding curb cuts to sidewalks and entrances, widening doorways, having door handles at a certain height, and having parking and passenger loading zones.

Accessibility Moving Toward the Digital World

ADA web accessibility came into light in 2010. As technology boomed, Congress decided to have another look at ADA. Websites were added to Title Three of the act to make sure everyone can have equal access to the web.

Although these laws and regulations referring to websites in the ADA aren’t very clear, courts have recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) which provide web accessibility standards, strategies and resources.

Who Must be Web Accessible?

Well, the answer is location, location, location! For instance, in Florida it has been proclaimed by the 11th Judicial Circuit, that websites that have a physical store must be accessible to those who have a visual and hearing impairment.  This new chapter of ADA may seem a little daunting, however,  AvenueADA can help! Below is a list of guidelines to help you begin thinking about your website’s accessibility.

Ways to Improve Web Accessibility

According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, a website’s content must have these four principles to be successful in accessibility.

Is it Perceivable? Content must be visible to all senses. This can be achieved by adding text descriptions to non-text content including but not limited to images, charts, audio and video.

Is it Operable? All users must be able to operate the website. Well organized content can help users navigate through the site easily and effectively. Making sure that the users have enough time to read the content is also essential.

Is it Understandable? All users must be able to understand the information and operations of the interface. Offering the text in multiple languages, providing definitions, and using the clearest and simplest language possible will be helpful in this category. Never use jargon! (Tip: Writing your content at an 8th grade level is key!)

Is it Robust? As assistive technologies evolve, all users must be able to access the content with current and future tools as ADA guidelines change over time.

If any of these principles do not apply to your website, that means it is not web accessible. Whether you’re developing a new website, or you have a website that hasn’t recently been updated, making it ADA accessible can be costly if you don’t have the right tools. AvenueADA has a cost-effective solution for making your site ADA compliant, and as your partner, we will keep your website up-to-date to ensure accessibility.

A helpful site to refer to is www.w3.org to learn more ways to make your website accessible to all users.

Interested in making your websitemore accessible for people with disabilities?

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