The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago and prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, schools, and transportation. Along with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA ensures that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected under the law, including while they are accessing the internet. In 2019, there were 2,256 ADA website-accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts by attorneys representing individuals and classes of people with disabilities.
How can you know if your website meets the compliance standards set forth by the ADA for people with disabilities? The United States Government adopted the accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. This act outlines standards for the accessibility of information technology, including the internet.
Does ADA compliance refer to my business?
ADA compliance applies to the following businesses:
- State government agencies
- Local government agencies
- Private employers with 15 or more employees
- Companies operating for the benefit of the general public
Even if your company doesn’t fall within the parameters set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s still important for your website to meet the standards of the ADA because you want to make your site accessible to all individuals. By making your website ADA compliant, you give yourself the opportunity to meet the needs of all consumers, practice equality, and generate more leads for your business. There are now tools and plugins that can help ensure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities by testing to see if it’s free from accessibility issues.
What happens if my website isn’t ADA compliant?
Facebook, Dominos, Uber, and Winn Dixie, to name a few, are major corporations that have been sued for not having a website compliant with the standards outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If your website fails to meet ADA standards, then you run the risk of being sued, having to pay court fees, and being forced to pay fines. Federally funded organizations can lose money and fines can be anywhere between $55,000-$150,000 depending on the number of offenses.
It’s possible that your business can afford to pay those fines, but the bad press from the lawsuit can damage your business’ branding. You don’t want to be known as the business that doesn’t care about people with disabilities, and this will negatively affect whether or not people use your business’ products or services. Because accessibility issues are prevalent on unchecked websites, it may be in the best interest of your business to order a web accessibility evaluation.
How can I check if my website is ADA compliant?
There is more than one way to determine if your website is ADA compliant. Check the following options to determine which method is right for your business.
3 Ways to Make Your Website ADA Compliant
Use Free ADA Compliance Checkers
Hire an Agency for a Professional Evaluation
Free Compliance Checkers
Companies like the Web Accessibility Initiative can check for compliance on your website. These companies look at your website to determine if they are congruent with the ADA standards. The drawback is that these sites can only check one page at a time for accessibility issues. These companies can, however, provide resources about how to make your website ADA compliant for people with disabilities.
The Web Accessibility Initiative also provides a list of resources and tools your site can use to meet the compliance standards. They also provide education and specific programs for each type of issue you may find on your website. WordPress sites can use a free plug-in to check for ADA compliance as well.
Here are some additional ADA compliance checkers that we recommend:
Again, there are many other ADA compliance website checker plugins offered on the W3C site.
Hiring an agency to provide a web accessibility evaluation can be very useful for your business. You’ll save time and energy while ensuring that an experienced agency reviews your website and creates a plan to make sure your site is in compliance. Some agencies may even have the resources to implement the plan for you and provide a full-service experience. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your site will be free from accessibility issues and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADA Compliance Website Creation
According to PEW Research Group, more than 75% of individuals with disabilities are using the internet. It’s important for your business to meet all internet users where they are by providing content that is not only valuable but accessible.
If you want to work with a world-leading full-service marketing agency and have us check your website for compliance, then contact us now at On The Marketing, Inc. We have experience designing and building ADA compliant sites and helping businesses grow their internet platforms.
Install Accessibly to Make Your WordPress Website ADA Compliant
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