ADA Compliance – It’s A Must!
Courts have now ruled that websites are considered places of public accommodation, under Title III of the ADA, accessibility is mandatory for websites.
Websites we build comply with the ADA when we build them
If someone comes across your site and discover that it does not comply with ADA requirements, they have the option of hiring a law firm to threaten you with a law suit or to settle out of court.
It’s important to understand that plaintiffs’ law firms are the ones calling the shots because they’re the ones deciding who to send demand letters to.
Since you’re highly unlikely to get into a legal battle with clients or want to pay a suitcase full of money to settle out of court, the wise solution is if you have a website, it’s best to make it accessible.
The more commercial your website is, the more you become a target for those that hunt for websites to sue.
Your competitors may also attack you using the ADA requirements to try to drive you out of business.
If your website is connected to a physical location your chances of having issues with ADA requirements are that much greater.
A website selling products or services or if financial transactions are taking place, then your chances of having ADA issues increase again.
The problem is that there is no definitive web accessibility law for private entities in the United States.Instead, the legal standard is just what feels right based on the spirit of the ADA.
Plaintiffs’ law firms are patching together claims of disability discrimination that appear legitimate at first glance but are usually just money grabs.
Since the law is being made up as we go the wisest thing to do is to make your site ADA compliant.
In addition to all the modifications we make behind the scene to the code we also add a feature that produces an icon that allows people with poor vision to enlarge the text, improve contrast and more. See this feature in the upper left of this site. Click on the icon to see the options available to people with poor vision.
There are two tests I perform on a site to test ADA compliance.
The first is https://wave.webaim.org/, it is an honest appraisal of your site’s ADA compliance. It was developed by Utah State University. Go to this site and add your URL and it will grade your site. The grade will list errors, poor contrast and other areas your site needs improvement on. Don’t forget to check every page of your site.
The second test is to go to the home page of your site and click on the URL in the browser window. Then using only the tab key, not the mouse, try to navigate your site. You should be able to access every area of your site, images, text, links and headers. As you access each portion of the page, the area accessed should be outlined with a bold line to help people with limited vision know what area of the page they are on.
If your site fails either of these tests you will need to fix it before an attorney contacts you.