ADA COMPLIANT WEBSITE DESIGN
BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO
Why Your Business Needs An ADA Compliant Website Design
Not Only Are There Legal Liability Risks But It Is Also The Right Thing To Do
Most companies do not even think about ADA compliance on the web till they are slapped with a lawsuit. Before you think to yourself, well, ADA compliance does not apply to my business, the reality is, think again it probably does.
There are over 25 million people in the USA who are visually impaired. Visual impairment is defined by those who have leas than or equal to 20/20 vision. 1 in 8 people in the USA have a hearing impairment which totals over 30 million people. Between the two disabilities that totals over 55 million people affected which is 17% of the US population. This doesn’t even include other disabilities that require web accessibility.
If your website is not ADA compliant, just from the revenue standpoint alone you should at least recognize the revenue loss you have been experiencing from losing out on doing business with or serving almost 20% of the population.
You also risk losing new business from government entities both in local, municipal, and federal government. If your website receives funding, assistance, or if you have contracts with government you must have an accessible website. If you do nothing you risk losing them.
All Business Technologies is a full-service web design and digital marketing agency. We are capable of helping your business make its website ADA complaint by conforming to the standards set by WGAC – Web content Accessibility Guidelines, so that people with disabilities can navigate and have access to web content. With this you will eliminate potential legal liabilities risk, but you will also connect your business with a new group of consumers.
What Is ADA Compliant Website Design
An ADA complaint website provides an experience online that is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
The ADA regulates businesses to provide a web experience suitable for a person with a disability. The ADA states “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation”.
Some examples of ADA compliance on the web is to create websites in such a manner as a where a person with epilepsy can use a website without risk of a seizure or a vision-impaired person has use of a website using a screen reader. Some users do not have the mobility to use a mouse and need to navigate the website with a keyboard only. These are only just a few examples, but the overall goal of ADA website compliance is to bring the same accessibility that can be found in physical brick and mortar type establishments that also comply with ADA.
Your Business Can Be Hit With An ADA Compliance Lawsuit
The American Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. The act was originally put in place for physical locations. The requirements were established to provide people with disabilities easy access to varying levels throughout a business. Back then websites weren’t really what they have become today, so no regulation had even been thought of.
In 2016 the ADA began to start to include web presence. Since then lawsuits have been on the rise each year. Last year in 2018, there were 2,285 ADA website lawsuits filed in federal courts across the nation, an increase of a 181 percent from 2017 where 814 complaints were filed. The numbers so far in 2019 predict by year end they will be even larger than 2018. The majority of lawsuits originate in Florida and New York and were federal cases, however, you can be sued in any state. followed by Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, followed by Texas to top the 9 busiest states to file lawsuits.
What Are My Options And What Happens If I Do Nothing
To properly make your website ADA complaint, it can take time and money, but it isn’t as scary or complicated as one would think.
Like anything also on the internet, when you do a search there will be companies offering to do the quick, easy, and cheap fix. There are plugins and automated artificial intelligence systems out there than claim for a couple hundred dollars they can make your website ADA compliant. Do not fall prey to this, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, we would be doing the same thing and selling the service to the masses.
You could have us if possible fix your existing website or design a brand-new ADA compliant website design. This sometimes can be the most practical way to achieve this and certainly best for long term results.
You could wait and see if Senate passes or fully addresses things. But while you are waiting you do risk receiving a letter for a civil lawsuit.
You could just ignore any complaint you may receive and hope it goes away. Our findings have been they do not, and once you reach out for help to an attorney often the answer is to just pay the demand, and then invest in becoming compliant. Unfortunately, just because you get sued once, does not mean you cannot be sued again. So, this is not advice we recommend.
What Are The Risks Of My Website Not Being ADA Compliant
Failure To Comply Leaves Your Business Legally Vulnerable.
If you do not take the steps to make sure your website is optimized to be accessible for every disability protected by the ADA then you will risk being sued and likely will lose. And just because you get sued once, does not protect you from it happening again.
Your risk of fines can be up to $75,000 or more for larger websites on the first offense alone. Those costs can rise even more if you decide to fight it in court, and that’s not including cost of becoming compliant after.
Later on you are at risk of a mad dash of people trying to fix their websites all at the same time. It isn’t uncommon for courts to force a mandatory fix by a certain date. Such a rush can have negative impacts on your priorities and focus, be proactive and make your website ADA complaint before it is forced on you.
What Are The Costs Of Making My Website ADA Compliant
The truth of this is, it is really hard to answer as all websites are built on different platforms and will have differing errors on each individual page during the analysis. Also, the page count becomes a major factor as well. So the pricing really will be dependent on how big the website is, what it takes to become complaint on the current platform or if the current platform is even possible to become ADA compliant, and then the amount of errors on each given page as well as what they are exactly.
Are Their Any Secondary Benefits To ADA Compliant Web Design
There are many advantages to making your website ADA complaint, we will go over some of the less discussed and possible long term benefits below
The biggest secondary benefit in our opinion is showing your potential and current customers that you care because you do want your website more accessible. Whether that particular individual needs this level of accessibility or not, most likely they know someone who does. So, taking this step will bring tons of goodwill to your industry.
Your website will rank better in search engines giving your business more online exposure from becoming ADA compliant. Some of the items that will need to be optimized will help Google and other search engines read your website better which will result in better positioning on the search engine results pages.
In the future I could see Google, Yahoo, and other search engines only listing websites that are ADA compliant. Recently they moved to a mobile first index in forcing businesses to make their websites mobile friendly or lose their positioning in the search engine results pages. We see great potential for this to happen with ADA compliance as well as search engine algorithms are putting more weight on user experience as they want their users to have the best possible experiences using their platforms.