Recently the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) has been the basis for an increased number of accessibility-based lawsuits. Website owners are facing an unprecedented number of claims that their sites are not easily accessible to people with visual impairment who use screen reading software to access website content. Laws have been changing such that many types of smaller businesses that employ as few as 15 employees are now considered to be “public accommodations” (and thus subject to ADA and WCAG website compliance guidelines).
ADA Website Compliance 2020
From a practical perspective, making sites accessible to the “differently-abled” is the right thing to do. Here are crucial things you need to know about ADA compliance.
61 Disability Access Guidelines to Follow Under WCAG 2.0
ADA compliance involves 61 different features that relate to website content being made accessible to a person with impairment. Examples include ARIA tags, ALT text labels, and text with certain measures of contrast to make it more readable. There are free tools such as the Google Lighthouse and the WAVE tool from AIM that can crawl your website and flag potential ADA problems.
E-Commerce, Legal and Healthcare Entities Are Victims of Many of the ADA-Related Lawsuits
If your business operates in these sectors, or you have an online store, you should hire an ADA compliance service to do a complete scan of your website for ADA noncompliance exposure. The lawsuits are growing geometrically each year and if you get a demand letter, it is usually too late to avoid the statutory $4,000 penalty (plus lawyer’s fees).
ADA Website Compliance Checklist
Here are some useful tips gleaned from the U.S. government’s ADA website:
- Use appropriately marked web page titles and headings
- Set the right contrast levels for your fonts and colors
- Add (“ALT”) tags which describe your displayed images
- Rewrite the text of any image text into your source code
- Work with a blind person to test your content with a screen reader
- Add closed captioning to videos
- PDF content needs to be accessible to screen reading devices
- Check any forms and error codes that guide people to filling out forms
- Ensure that ARIA tags are used
- Install a tool that adds a disability control panel to your web pages
5 Steps to Get into ADA Compliance
- Run a scan of your site or hire a specialist to report on your exposure.
- Work with your webmaster to fix the highlighted issues.
- Install and configure a plugin like Userway.org (for WordPress sites)
- Talk to an ADA service provider who can certify that your site is accessible.
- Add an Accessibility Statement to your website
Special Offer with this Announcement
We also have trained ADA specialists and website programmers who can scan your business website for ADA-related compliance problems and recommend as well as code suitable fixes. During the month of March, you can get a free assessment of your ADA exposure. Additionally, if you hire our team to update your site, you will receive a credit of $500 toward any services we perform.
For information about our compliance services, feel free to contact Jason Ciment or use the Contact Us form on the WebsiteComplianceWithADA.com website. Get Visible (www.GetVisible.com) is a digital marketing leader with offices in California and Arizona with an industry focus on lawyers, professional services providers, healthcare practitioners (mostly surgeons), retailers and manufacturers.