July 26, 2019
ADA Website Compliance
Is your website ADA Compliant? If not, you leave your business susceptible to a potential lawsuit. Luckily, the team at Boost Creative has put together this quick guide that could help prevent an ADA Compliance lawsuit and save you thousands down the road.
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that protects the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities. Initially passed in 1990, the ADA has gone through many revisions over the years to prohibit discrimination in employment, public services, public accomodations, and telecommunications due to a disability.
In recent years, attention to Title III of the ADA has grown and has placed a spotlight on the law’s inclusion of websites. Despite not being explicitly listed, websites for businesses are considered to be a public place and thus need to have appropriate accommodations for those with disabilities.
Why is ADA Website Compliance Important?
Now more than ever, businesses are finding themselves being sued for ADA Website Compliance violations. In 2018, the number website accessibility lawsuits filed in U.S. federal court increased by 177% from the previous year. During that time, Florida had the second highest number of lawsuits, coming behind only New York, at an estimated 576 cases.
Law firms are targeting businesses who are unaware of ADA Website Compliance standards due to ADA being seen as a strict liability law, meaning there are never any defenses or excuses for a violation. Without an accessible website, your business could be seen as discriminatory towards those with disabilities and left liable for a lawsuit.
For example, a visually impaired individual wants to purchase tickets to a local concert. The tickets are sold online on the venue’s website, but the individual is unable to purchase tickets because the site is not optimized to be read with a screen reader. The individual could then sue the venue for their website not being accessible, therefore discriminating against the visually impaired and in violation of Title III of the ADA.
Be proactive to prevent being hit with a major lawsuit by making sure your site is accessible and ADA compliant.
How Do I Make My Website ADA Compliant?
In order to be ADA Compliant, your website needs to be accessible. Your website should integrate features that allow all users to receive a similar experience, no matter their disability. Before you search on the internet for an ADA Compliance Agency and hire the first one you find, you may want to take a few things into consideration:
First, don’t pay a company to scan and audit your website if they don’t also offer remediation. Contrary to belief, MOST website compliance agencies found on the web fall into this category. They will scan your site and only tell you what is wrong with it, leaving you to find a developer on your own who can implement the changes they suggested. Furthermore, you will end up having to pay for a second audit from the developer as well, making the whole endeavor frustrating and more costly in the end.Second, ADA Compliance isn’t a one-time fix. While some features can be fundamental in the framework of your website, a large portion of accessibility is how you create new content on your site. Something as simple as adding alt text to an image you’ve uploaded to a blog post can make that image accessible. Small day-to-day actions such as this can help maintain your site’s accessibility throughout the years.
Lastly, be sure to consult the help of a professional who has experience in ADA Website Compliance. Outside of the coded website features, there are other items your site should have – such as an accessibility policy and training – that focus more on the legality side of things rather than the technical. An individual or company who is well versed in ADA compliance will be able to provide you examples of their past work and demonstrate their knowledge of the two main accessibility guides used in a court of law – the WCAG 2.0 AA Success Criteria and the Web Accessibility Standards (WAS).Boost Creative offers full ADA Website Compliance audits and remediation services. Our team is well versed in the standards needed to protect your business from being in violation of ADA Title III compliance. Contact us today, either online or by phone, to speak with our Web Development team and get your website up to code.