It’s often assumed that business owners understand the importance of marketing. But according to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliant websites are not a big deal; they are a HUGE deal! Having an ADA-compliant website is not only the right thing to do but is legally required and a monetary boost. With more than a billion people with disabilities worldwide, it is crucial we give them complete access to websites.
What Exactly Does This Mean?
Before you do anything else, zero in on your business goals. These goals should support ADA compliance refers to designing websites, tools, and technologies so everyone, including people with disabilities, can use them as efficiently as possible. When building an ADA-compliant website, the applications range from different designs to web development practices that help people with disabilities navigate the site, for example, by ensuring sufficient color contrast between the text and background colors on your site, making it easier for those with low vision to read the text.
Here are some examples of different types of disabilities to consider when designing accessible websites:
- Blindness and low vision
- Deafness and hearing loss
- Limited movement
- Speech disabilities
- Neurological limitations (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.)
- Cognitive limitations (e.g., learning disabilities)
There are many more disabilities to consider and more added, so it is vital to stay on top of the requirements and regulations.
Top Three Reasons
Here are Three Top Reasons why you need to ensure your website is ADA compliant, how to make it compliant and how to keep it compliant.
1. Legally Required
In 2018, the DOJ clarified that websites are considered places of public accommodation and must comply with ADA Title III. In 2022, the DOJ reaffirmed it and recommended WCAG 2.1 AA as the best practice. The DOJ has made it clear that websites must comply with ADA requirements. Most people only think this applies to larger companies…But it also applies to small to medium-sized businesses, and all-size companies have legal ramifications if they are not compliant.
More and more news stories about companies getting sued or settling out of court for having a website that doesn’t comply with the American Disabilities Act have been popping up. Many wonder if this affects you or your business – well, it does. Companies all over the country in a wide variety of industries are getting served with lawsuits because their websites don’t meet compliance standards. ADA compliance lawsuits have been on a tremendous increase with reports of 10’s of thousands of demand letters and lawsuits, targeting businesses of all sizes.
- Over 150,000 demand letters have been served to businesses since 2017.
- 93% of demand letters settle outside of court for $20,000 – $150,000 on average
- 7% of businesses fight and lose in court
Keeping sites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) may not be a problem for corporations with sizable budgets but can a real difficulty for small businesses for the following reasons:
- They are dynamic, and new content is generated every day. The tiniest change can break the code and make the website inaccessible.
- Compliance regulations change and adjust so often that it can be especially challenging for small businesses to keep up with these changes.
Yes, this may be alarming but does not need to be overwhelming. WideNet Marketing has a solution that will make sure your website is compliant, stays compliant, and keeps you on budget. Do not worry; we got you covered.
2. The Right Thing To Do
Even though in 2018, the DOJ announced websites as public domain and needed to be ADA compliant, it wasn’t until 2020 that it hit home for most families and businesses. Schools and businesses closed due to COVID-19, and the public turned to the web for supplies, services, education, information, and access to their jobs. What they discovered were websites and apps they could not use. At that point, it became a HUGE deal. 1 in 5 adults live with a disability but only 2% of the 350 million active U.S. websites are accessible. Making the internet accessible is about leveling the playground for 20% of the world’s population.
- People with disabilities need to access the web just like anyone else to be included in modern society.
- People with disabilities should be valued and respected and given the same opportunities as everyone else.
- People with disabilities have families to support and need access to the web just like everyone else.
As our technology advances and society grows, let us never forget to do our best to include everyone. The internet is where everything happens. Can you imagine your life without it? Accessing what the internet offers should be a fundamental right for everybody, regardless of their abilities. At WideNet Marketing, our goal is to not only stay ahead of the curve but also treat others as we would want to be treated.
3. Monetary Boost
Making your website accessible to people with disabilities keeps you in compliance, improves your reputation by doing the right thing, and opens up a whole new opportunity to grow your business.
An ADA-compliant website opens the door to a new client base:
- Expands your marketing reach to attract more customers
- Taps into the more than $6 trillion spending power of people with disabilities
- Builds reputation along with SEO
ADA website compliance is starting to affect all sized companies, making it extremely important to be aware and proactive. At WideNet we understand change can be frustrating but also needed for improvement. This is why we have the perfect solution for keeping you on top of these changes. We want you to be in good standing legally, socially, and monetarily.
WideNet’s ADA compliance solution is designed specifically for our clients to make sure you are safe, protected and staying within your budget. We understand the need to do the right thing, be legally compliant and also be able to pay the bills.
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