Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Website Accessibility Lawsuits are becoming far too common.

It’s rough seas in the ADA compliance world.  For business owners that is. ADA litigation and the development of what have  come to be known as “Drive by Lawsuits” mean that business owners need to be more aware than ever about what, exactly, it is they need to do in order to be ADA Compliant.

Of course, a little background, if you don’t need it; skip this paragraph.  ADA is short for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which became law in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA, at least for Title III (private sector businesses), only applies to companies that employ 15 or more persons. In January 2018, some new federal regulations took effect. All federal institutions’ websites must be ADA compliance on all items in WCAG 2.0 by this time.

An unfortunate side-effect is that the above has been taken advantage of and used to instigate costly lawsuits against well intended businesses.  If a business doesn’t have a wheelchair accessible entrance for example. Bam. lawsuit. Handicap parking spot not wide enough. Bam. Lawsuit, and we haven’t even made it past the parking lot yet.  Every aspect of a business that comes in contact with the customer, client or patient needs to be ADA compliant. Everything.

In 2017 alone, there were estimated to be over 800 federal lawsuits on the topic of website accessibility alone.  If you operate out of New York and Florida then pay attention since over 80% of these website accessibility cases were in your neck of the woods.

If your website does not offer the same access to tools and information as it would for a person with a disability, then your website is most likely not compliant. Website Accessibility guidelines are all about creating Equal Access regardless of a person’s physical abilities. The most comon targets of lawsuits targeting this issue are hospitality companies, restaurants and retailers.  It is vital that these businesses identify areas of non-conformity on their websites.

For more questions, please contact the ADA Accessibility Experts at Meeting The Challenge.  Our mission is to make a more accessible world for everyone.

 

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