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Is Your Website ADA Compliant? How to Keep It in Good Standings and Avoid Potential Lawsuits

Trends and Insight 24 Add to collection

Matt McKenzie, president at Alloy breaks down the importance of digital assets and how to bring your site up to par

Is Your Website ADA Compliant? How to Keep It in Good Standings and Avoid Potential Lawsuits

Most people take for granted the ease of use and ability to navigate a website. For people with a disability, the easiest of tasks—like ordering products online, or looking for transcripts of a popular posted video—can be challenging if a company’s website is not ADA compliant. 

The lockdown brought this to light, and not in a good way. 

The number of website accessibility lawsuits has increased over 200% since 2017. In 2020 alone, over 2,000 lawsuits were filed against businesses alleging ADA Title III violations related to website accessibility. The number of these claims is expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.

A misconception exists that to maintain a website that’s ADA compliant is going to be costly. It’s simply not the case.

Here’s a look at why it’s important to have digital assets ADA-compliant and how to get your site up to par.

It’s the law.

Not only is it the law to have your website usable for anyone with a disability, it’s also the right thing to do, and it’s good business. An estimated one-fifth of the county has accessibility needs. That’s a sizable portion of anyone’s business. Are you willing to lose that much in profits because your website is only usable to 80% of your audience? Accessibility can be a situational but not necessarily a long-term issue. You may have a customer with one arm, an arm injury, hearing loss, seizure disorders, vision or speech impairments, or a mom holding a new born and using her phone.

Update your site before legal ramifications ensue.

Remember when I said it’s the law? Companies can and are being sued over non-ADA-compliant websites. Even the threat of a lawsuit can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars. It’s either an upfront cost of having a company develop and fix issues or writing a check to settle a lawsuit and then a check to a company to fix the problems. It will cost you less doing it upfront.

Plan for the future.

None of us has a crystal ball and can foresee the future. By spending the money now to have an ADA-approved website, you are planning for the future. We don’t know where we’ll be in 5, 10, or 20 years. At some point, we may ourselves have accessibility issues and need to rely on websites compliant to our accessibility needs.

How to maintain an ADA-approved website.

Engage an expert in accessibility to review your website. Every website needs to not only be checked by humans but also tested with machines.

Tools exist to enable automated testing of websites. However, they only go so far. They don’t understand customer intent and cannot predict a user’s behaviour or order of page visits.

An accessibility expert will prioritise a website’s highest-ranking issues that should immediately be addressed to produce the best results. 

Once a site is accessible, it doesn’t mean it’s always accessible. Websites should be retested regularly, depending on how many updates were made to the website each quarter. If no massive changes were made, retesting can occur every six months or once a year. It’s a perpetual process. Just like a restaurant gets inspected regularly, so should your website.

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Intermark, Tue, 02 Nov 2021 17:03:54 GMT