Is your website ADA Compliant for 2019? It should be.
In the U.S.A. and Florida in particular, countless business websites fail to keep up with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even in 2019, we see websites and businesses suffer from a lack of focus or attention given to these fundamental government-set guidelines. In this confusing world of ours, where federal law collides with technology output, knowing the limits of what you should, or should not be doing, is complicated and extensive work.
“Most business websites are sitting ducks for ADA suits” – Florida Sun Sentinel
The Sun Sentinel recently reported that most Florida websites are ‘sitting ducks’ when it comes to potential ADA lawsuits. Not only are lawsuits possible, but they are on the rise: Of 1,488 Florida ADA lawsuits last year, roughly 325 targeted business websites. These lawsuits are serious and may have incredible ramifications for the stability of your business. We’ve seen an influx of litigious attorneys take advantage of noncompliant websites by actively seeking out targets to sue. However, many business owners still ask themselves: ‘do have to be compliant?’
The answer is not as cut and dry as you’d think.
Stay alert and stay vigilant, many consulting agencies and law firms charge tens of thousands of dollars to make a website ADA compliant. The reality is that, in many cases, it isn’t complicated. We are happy to consult with you, your web developers or your team to see if making your website ADA compliant is worth the time.
- Complimentary call to discuss if your website requires ADA compliance
- Full-service renovation for your business website
- Consulting and education to web developers staying ADA compliant
- Assisting with creating a new ADA compliant website
- Maintaining and increasing search optimization for ADA websites
Why Your Website Should Follow Accessibility Guidelines
The ADA became a law in the United States in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. From navigating the public and private sector world to living through day-to-day life, the ADA protects those that need protection.
In January of this past year (2018) some new regulations began taking effect. These new laws regulate every business website that provides commerce, services or products. They state that each website must meet the guidelines listed in WCAG 2.0.
So what does this mean for you?
Because the precedent is changing and ADA compliance lawsuits seem to be winning more and more, being compliant is more important than ever. Title III of the ADA compliance laws pertains to both offline, and online private businesses. Lately and more than ever, we’ve seen these protections expanding into the digital territory as apps and the internet gain awareness as a necessary part of life for individuals living with disabilities.
So who needs to be compliant?
The general rule of thumb is that any business considered a “public accommodation” should have an ADA compliant website.
“Public accommodation” applies and depends on whoever is making the interpretation. That’s what makes this field of law so important to understand. Since it is up to interpretation, it’s important that any B2C (business to customer) website is easy to access and follows the guidelines set forth by the government. Whether a retail website or any business that deals with the public, ADA guidelines should be met.
Tips to stay in compliance with ADA/WCAG Regulations
- Look over the newest WCAG 2.0 (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines) from w2.org
- Make sure your website’s images have alternative text tags, descriptive of the images they portray
- Having a font sizing function to increase your website’s font if the reader has eyesight issues
- Make sure your website is completely functional on mobile devices, as well as tablet and desktop computers
- Evaluate your website’s front-end code to ensure that it’s completely functional
- The website must be able to operate from the use of only a keyboard, in cases where a user is unable to use a mouse
- Make your content readable: separate subjects with paragraphs, add headers when appropriate