Did you know that your website is required to be ADA compliant? You may be running the risk of being sued unless you take steps to get your website in line with existing regulations. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) into law – which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any place of public accommodation. Most businesses are aware of the physical accommodations that are made, including automatic doors, braille on ATMs, and ramps for wheelchairs. What’s not as well known, is that the ADA also applies to the digital world – specifically – websites.
In January 2018, new regulations required that all federal institution websites must meet ADA compliance on all items in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). In addition to these new regulations, legal precedence is changing as more ADA compliance lawsuits are becoming successful.
But, should you actually be worried? In short… yes!
There have been over 1,000 lawsuits filed in 2018 alone, relating to website accessibility. The industries being sued vary widely, including:
- Apparel stores
- Consumer Goods
What Does Compliance Mean for My Website?
Aside from avoiding potential legal ramifications, ADA compliance offers a number of distinct advantages for your business:
- Increasing target audience – Nearly 50 million people in the U.S. have a disability – meaning non-compliant websites is largely unusable to anyone with a disability. A compliant website means these users will come to your site, and not go to your competitors.
- Improves SEO – Accessibility guidelines like meta tagging, alternative image text and video transcripts not only make your website compliant, it also improves your website’s overall SEO.
- Reputation – An ADA compliant website can increase your target audience, as users with disabilities can recommend your website to friends and relatives.
- Better Website – Following the WCAG guidelines makes your sites easier to comprehend and navigate – meaning all users, disabled or not, can find what they’re looking for easily.
How Do I Get My Website Compliant?
It’s easy! Just follow the 61 guidelines laid out in WCAG 2.1. If your jaw just hit the desk, fear not! It’s not as bad as it seems. Your website may already meet many of the requirements and others can easily be handled by your web developer. Other guidelines will require more work. Among the most important requirements are:
- To assist users with visual impairments, text must meet a minimum contrast ratio against the background.
- Website text must be scalable up to 200% without causing horizontal scrolling or content-breaking layout issues.
- Sites should be navigable by users who only use a keyboard.
- Your site should be navigable via screen reader software.
- Images on your website must have alt text or captions to offer a textual counterpart to describe them.
- Website HTML must validate to ensure all elements use start and end tags correctly.
With so many guidelines to follow, it’s obvious that ADA compliance is an ongoing process. At Results Repeat, we can help you on your way to compliance. We can perform an audit on your website, provide a report for any issues your site may have, and create a strategy for compliance. Contact us today to find out more!