Since the start of the pandemic, many companies have pivoted from daily office life to a work-from-home environment. At the same time, online shopping, both for necessities and indulgences, has become more common. How have these changes affected people? For some, the transition to a fully digitally connected life has posed challenges. For many people with disabilities, the shift to an increasingly online life has proven especially hard. One reason for this is the simple fact that most websites, mobile platforms, apps, and other digital media were not designed with accessibility features for those with disabilities. Equal access for all users is crucial in a digital world. At ADA Site Compliance, we provide the resources needed to ensure your digital presence is user-friendly for those with disabilities.
Common Problems that Prevent a Website or Digital Experience from being ADA Compliant.
There are dozens of different reasons why a website or app may be inaccessible for people with disabilities. Some of the most common problems include poor navigation, insufficient color contrast between text and background, and keyboard “traps” for non-mouse users. Websites must be structured properly with elements such as headings and labels, as well as a clear indication of interactive fields. An accessible website needs focus indicators to let users navigate with ease. These are just a few examples of accessibility barriers. To identify them all, however, companies must partner with a dedicated accessibility expert who will conduct a full website audit. There are other means to test for ADA compliance, such as online compliance tests, but most of these methods of testing have proven to identify only a percentage of discrepancies that prevent a site from reaching full compliance. Performing a full website audit will guarantee that any problem areas are identified, ensuring action can be taken to make the website fully compliant.
How can we help make your website ADA compliant for people with Disabilities.
At ADA Site Compliance, we make the process of digital inclusivity easy. Our experts will audit and remediate your website to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to its content. We test for all potential accessibility failures to ensure that your digital assets meet the needed criteria to be ADA compliant. If you are unsure about the status of compliance on your website, we can perform a full human expert audit to ensure digital compliance. Contact ADA Site Compliance today to get started on the path to full accessibility and compliance.
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The ADA prohibits any private businesses that provide goods or services to the public, referred to as “public accommodations,” from discriminating against those with disabilities. Federal courts have ruled that the ADA includes websites in the definition of public accommodation. As such, websites must offer auxiliary aids and services to low-vision, hearing-impaired, and physically disabled persons, in the same way a business facility must offer wheelchair ramps, braille signage, and sign language interpreters, among other forms of assistance.
All websites must be properly coded for use by electronic screen readers that read aloud to sight-impaired users the visual elements of a webpage. Additionally, all live and pre-recorded audio content must have synchronous captioning for hearing-impaired users.
Websites must accommodate hundreds of keyboard combinations, such as Ctrl + P to print, that people with disabilities depend on to navigate the Internet.
Litigation continues to increase substantially. All business and governmental entities are potential targets for lawsuits and demand letters. Recent actions by the Department of Justice targeting businesses with inaccessible websites will likely create a dramatic increase of litigation risk.
Big box retailer Target Corp. was ordered to pay $6 million – plus $3.7 million more in legal costs – to settle a landmark class action suit brought by the National Federation of the Blind. Other recent defendants in these cases have included McDonald’s, Carnival Cruise Lines, Netflix, Harvard University, Foot Locker, and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with these large companies, thousands of small businesses have been subject to ADA website litigation.
Defendants in ADA lawsuits typically pay plaintiff's legal fees, their own legal fees for defending the litigation, and potential additional costs. In all, the average cost can range from tens of thousands of dollars, to above six figures. There are also high intangible costs, such as added stress, time and human capital, as well as reputational damage. Furthermore, if the remediation is incomplete, copycat suits and serial filers can follow, meaning double or triple the outlay. It's vital to implement a long-term strategy for ensuring your website is accessible and legally compliant.