Why a Website Needs to Be ADA Compliant
When you’re starting an online business or launching a site for your company, you might not be aware of the fact that there are laws you must follow as well, and some specific titles protect people with disabilities. Abiding by the ADA regulations is essential, and this article explains what you must know about it.
It describes the most crucial aspects of these guidelines, explains which industries should put special emphasis on them, and it recommends some actions you can take to get started.
What Is an ADA Compliant Website?
The United States Department of Justice released rules and guidelines for public accommodation in 2010, which had a specific purpose: to make content accessible for all communities, including people with disabilities.
Web content accessibility guidelines dictate, in title III, that ADA compliance is mandatory, and that websites must provide people with disabilities with an accessible design that allows them to understand the information on the site.
Overall, this might not sound like something essential but think about the millions of people in the world who have disabilities and cannot access online sites because they’re not ADA compliant. As you can see, the issue is much deeper than it appears.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
As a part of the federal civil rights law, the act protects people with disabilities against discrimination in any form.
Thus, having an accessible website means anyone can get information from it regardless of whether or not they have a disability. It’s a mandatory guideline for all private employers who have online sites, and it’s something they must guarantee if they want to avoid issues and contribute to their community.
What Industries Need ADA Compliance the Most?
Even though ADA compliance is mandatory for everyone, some industries need it more than others.
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects these people and ensures website accessibility, which is not available on all sites. Here are some of the industries that need it the most:
There has been an explosion of eCommerce business in the past few years, so it’s no surprise that digital accessibility issues have arisen as well. Unfortunately, not all sites are ADA compliant, and it’s something owners must ensure.
Food Industry and Restaurants
Restaurants and food chains have worked to achieve ADA compliance, particularly in the past few years when business owners have noticed the importance of fostering online communities and complying with mandatory standards to contribute to communities.
The finance community also needs to fulfill ADA standards. This guarantees equal opportunity among all people, particularly because the ADA prohibits discrimination and makes the site accessible for anyone who needs it.
Lastly, the automotive industry also needs to be ADA compliant. Dealerships all over the United States are currently suffering the consequences of not abiding by title III and not being inclusive toward disabled users.
ADA Compliance Lawsuits and Issues
As sectors such as public transportation, employment agencies, and schools have a rehabilitation act to make sure they don’t discriminate against people with disabilities, title III takes care of doing the same with websites.
Sites must provide these people with reasonable accommodations for the devices they use, for example, audio descriptions, audio files, or adaptability with screen readers.
If a website is not ADA compliant, the business owners face the possibility of people filing lawsuits against them, particularly if they can prove that the site tools discriminate against them.
Furthermore, if you have a website, you might not even be aware of ADA compliance. However, you must still guarantee you meet the standards of the ADA title III because if you don’t, you might be facing a hefty lawsuit.
When you don’t have an ADA-compliant website, you also risk going through other problems, such as the following:
Having to rebuild your site so that it meets ADA requirements
Public relations issues
Having to make reasonable modifications to your professional services offers to abide by the ADA title III
Making Electronic and Information Technology Accessible to All People
Many people wonder ‘Is ADA compliance mandatory for all websites?’ and the answer is yes, ADA applies to everyone. If you’re working with a development team, you must make sure they’re aware of the core principles of assistive technology and public accommodations, particularly for the hearing impaired, visually impaired, and so on.
Offering alternatives is one of the best decisions you can make if you want to protect people with the same rights that you and others have. Assistive technologies are immensely convenient, so making some modifications to your website can even make it much better than it was before. Take a look at some of the benefits of ADA compliance:
Improve Your Relationship with the Industry You’re in
The first benefit of following ADA rules is that you’re guaranteeing a better relationship with your industry because you’re setting an example.
Providing closed captioning or an audio description of what you have on your site might immensely help disabled individuals, which, in turn, allows them to spread the word about your business even within your field.
Get More Customers
This second benefit is related to the previously mentioned one. When people can access your website, they tell others about it.
Consequently, you might get more customers or a larger audience, and this is an advantage on a business level.
Promote Adequate Practices and User-friendliness
Having a user-friendly website is essential, regardless of ADA compliance. However, if you want to avoid settlement agreements and promote effective communication as well as other positive values, following the rules is a must.
Adequate practices include you guaranteeing that anyone can access your website, and this includes people with disabilities. Most organizations are currently focusing on making this an essential aspect of digital regulations, and this is a step in the correct direction in terms of prohibiting discrimination.
Have a Positive Effect on Your Community
Lastly, a fantastic benefit of ADA compliance is that you’re having a positive effect on your community. When you follow ADA compliance requirements, you become part of a group of businesses that stand out and might motivate others to do the same.
How to Know if Your Website Is Accessible
Achieving accessibility is sometimes more challenging than you might think, but the good news is that you can manage it if you modify some things about your site. Here are some tips to follow.
The first thing to remember is that you have to provide image descriptions for all the pictures on your site. Try to make them as accurate as you can since this guarantees that people with different tools can use them to understand what they’re seeing.
At the same time, if you’re using software such as accesiBe, you have to make sure that manual accessibility doesn’t override it. Managing this might be tricky at first, but if you’re working with a specialized team, you can work it out without spending that much time on it.
Thirdly, you must consider that accessibility issues might arise at some point. This doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get a lawsuit, but it does represent a problem that you have to solve as soon as you can.
If you or your development team have any problems, you should contact the accessiBe customer support service. We can help you solve whatever happens, and we’ll ensure that your site is up, running, and ADA compliant quickly.
Many people, including you, might be aware that accessiBe is the world’s most comprehensive accessibility solution. We offer everything you might need to make your site abide by the law and regulations, we quickly help you solve issues, and if you need any help or have questions, you can contact us, and we’ll handle the problems.
Nonetheless, there are special circumstances in which you might need to let us know you require extra help to make your website compliant. Some people’s sites have files or elements that aren’t part of their source code, and this might be happening to yours. If you have PDF or Excel documents, or media, or if your site needs a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template), contact us.
Accessibility is something everyone should have when they go into a website, regardless of their condition, skin color, gender, and so on. In many cases, people aren’t aware of the fact that their site discriminates against people with disabilities, and although this is not their fault, they should take the necessary steps to solve the issue.
Making sure that your website is accessible allows you to follow the rules, abide by the law, avoid legal problems, and much more. However, the best part of it is that you’re actively contributing to your community, fostering positive relationships with others in your industry, and helping people who have different conditions.
Therefore, having a website that follows ADA regulations is as essential as optimizing it for search engines. If you want to contribute to your community, grow your business, and improve your relationship with other people, take a look at the different steps you must take to make your site accessible. To get answers to any questions you have, don’t hesitate to contact the accessiBe team.