September 24, 2021
Then, we took a deep dive into the more significant ADA lawsuits in recent years to see how large businesses fared in court.
In sum, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 as a civil rights law that enables those Americans with disabilities to have access to the same rights and opportunities as others. The ADA encompasses those who have physical disabilities or impairments with their vision, hearing, or speech.
Those who must comply with the ADA and provide accommodations for those with disabilities are: 1) All federal, state, and local government agencies; 2) Private employers and businesses that have 15 or more employees; and 3) All businesses that operate for, or are open to, the public.
Remember that the ADA was expanded in 2010 to add Standards for Accessible Design which requires companies to make all information and technology presented on the internet, computers, cell phones, and so forth to those with a disability as defined in the ADA.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed standards that provide website accessibility to those with communication, cognitive, and motor impairments. The standards are found in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The federal government recommends website creators use WCAG in developing their ADA-compliant websites. WCAG has four guiding principles under the acronym POUR: 1) The information presented must be perceivable by all those who are disabled; 2) The site must be operable so a person with a disability, no matter what type, can navigate through the website; 3) the information presented must be understandable; and 4) the content must be robust. This means it has the ability to adapt.
Despite no specific ADA Accessible Design regulations, those with disabilities who are unable to access a website seem ready to sue businesses for noncompliance. In the first half of 2021, more than 1,600 lawsuits were filed alleging a company’s website was not ADA compliant.
There are many more suggestions. In fact, the WCAG has 61 guidelines to ensure ADA compliance.
For your convenience, we have crafted a downloadable ADA compliance website checklist with 10 website ADA compliance guidelines to help you gauge whether a full scale ADA website audit may be in order…
In order to avoid lawsuits, businesses need to understand that blind people sue when there is no screen reader allowing them to read the text and no audio accompanying the print. Others sue when they are unable to use a mouse and therefore cannot access the information. A simple fix would be to add keyboard navigation to the site.
Do not risk receiving a fine from the federal government for noncompliance with ADA requirements. Avoid being the target of a civil lawsuit for noncompliance.
If you are concerned that your website does not meet the criteria established by the WCAG Guidelines, and worry that your site is not ADA compliant, contact accsessiBE to initiate a comprehensive ADA website compliance audit, or reach out to Main Event Digital!