We know that you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into your website. Design, content, security, you’ve spared no expense to ensure your virtual storefront is accessible to everyone. But if it’s not ADA compliant, your business could be at risk of an ADA lawsuit.
What Is ADA Compliance?
First, let’s give a brief overview of what the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is. It is a civil rights law that prohibits disabled individuals from being discriminated against in any area of public life, ensuring that they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA has five sections (or titles) that cover specific areas of public life, including electronic information and technology, i.e. websites.
Why is ADA Compliance Important In Avoiding an ADA Lawsuit?
1) ADA compliance ensures that everyone can easily access your site.
First and foremost, ADA compliance is important because everyone should be able to easily navigate and access your site. Period. Second, from a legal standpoint, if your website isn’t compliant with ADA regulations, you’re leaving yourself open to an ADA lawsuit.
According to ADA compliance firm UsableNet, ADA-based cases, where the subject of the claim was either a website, mobile app, or video content, increased by 15% from 2020 to 2021. That amounts to 10 ADA lawsuits filed per day! It’s best to take care of accessibility immediately rather than leave yourself open to that kind of risk.
2) ADA compliance will have a positive impact on your business.
If your website is accessible to a wider audience, that means you have more potential customers and thus more potential sales! Many companies have seen a positive impact on their customer satisfaction surveys as well as their overall profits. For instance, Virgin Wireless saw a 60% increase in online sales after they implemented ADA-compliant features on their website.
Not only will it increase revenue, but it will also increase your site’s SEO rankings too! Search engines prioritize accessible websites because they’re designed well, are simple to navigate, and have all the proper content tags. For instance, well-written alt tags for videos, audio clips, and photographs, gives SEO bots more reasons to suggest your site to online visitors.
As more people visit your site, it’ll lend your business more credibility online, giving an additional boost to your SEO and creating a veritable snowball of online success.
How Can I Become ADA Compliant & Avoid an ADA Lawsuit?
1) Gain a basic working knowledge of ADA compliance
Familiarize yourself with common acronyms. Understand which of the five titles in the ADA apply to you and your business and why. Most of the time your business will fall under Title III of the ADA unless you’re primarily contracted with the federal government.
While this may seem like a daunting task at first, don’t worry! Familiarity and fluency will come with time.
2) Review the WCAG Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
One of the best sets of guidelines available to businesses is those developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3). Simply put, the WC3 is an international organization that develops best practices for the world wide web and is considered the industry leader in defining digital accessibility. So, we suggest starting there.
3) Order an assessment of your website and other digital properties
If you’re reviewing your sites and apps and aren’t entirely sure they’re compliant, there are experts who can help! Running these digital spaces through a rigorous compliance audit will give you an excellent starting point to becoming ADA compliant.
4) Generate and implement a web accessibility policy
Maintaining accessibility doesn’t come without putting forth effort. Having a web accessibility statement clearly marked on your website, as well as internal guidelines for maintaining compliance, will ensure you’ll remain compliant no matter how much your company may grow and change.
5) Update your website(s) and app(s)
While the majority of ADA lawsuits have been filed by blind or visually impaired consumers, individuals with other disabilities should also be considered when updating your website. Some of these disabilities include hearing impairments, lack of mobility or musculoskeletal disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, neurological disabilities, and so on. So be sure your site is designed and coded with them in mind too!
Looking for the basics on ADA compliant web design? This blog is a great place to start.
Now’s the Time to Get Compliant & Avoid An ADA Lawsuit
As ADA lawsuits trickle down to smaller and smaller businesses, ignoring ADA compliance is getting riskier. Instead of putting yourself at a disadvantage, take advantage of all the benefits ADA compliance has to offer.
If you are still intimidated by the task of offering an ADA compliant website, GreenStar Marketing is a great place to turn to. The team is willing and ready to bring your website and future posting up to ADA compliance. If you would like to learn more about how GreenStar Marketing could help you and your company, schedule a call today!