ADA and GDPR have prompted the concern of business owners over the past two years. Lawsuits and fines give them good reason.
To answer what is likely your first question, “Does my website need to be ADA compliant?” Yes.
Section 508 accessibility standards of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 only apply to federal agencies, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “requires any person, business, or organization covered under the Act to communicate effectively about their programs, services, and activities. This includes information provided through your website.”
Maybe your second question is, “What are my chances of being sued?” If your website isn’t compliant, the possibility is always there.
That being said, larger businesses utilized by all of the general public are more likely to be targeted. “Surf-by” lawsuits have come up where one person and a lawyer will file the same suit against a number of companies, often times frivolous and just searching for a settlement.
As you can see, it’s important to get your website to be ADA Compliant. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but by having ADA compliant standards for your website, you’ll be contributing to making the web an accessible place for all.
List of Website Elements to Audit for ADA Compliance
To ensure your website is accessible to people with disabilities, it should be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. To do this, a website must provide alternatives to content or present content in various ways, make sure the functionality is sound with a number of inputs, and maximize compatibility.
I think it’s best you see this information from the source.
Per the Web Accessibility initiative (W3C WAI)
- Website Accessibility Standards and guidelines at a glance
- Detailed descriptions, techniques, and examples of failure for each element
You’ll see that each element in the detail view linked above has a level: A, AA, AAA. These are conformance levels that you can reach, based on the accessibility elements you implement.
Tools to Check if Your Website is Compliant
Use the Bureau of Internet Accessibility Free Scan. It will identify accessibility issues based on the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.) Currently: 2.1, as of March 1, 2019.
If you really want to be safe, cross your t’s and dot your i’s by using these tools as well.
If you resolve all of the A and AA issues, your website is very accessible! All you’ll have to do from there is run regular scans, and check in to see if there are any updated web content accessibility guidelines. If you couldn’t fix the AAA level guidelines, you’re not alone and don’t need to sweat it. For some websites it’s actually not possible.
After seeing what needs to be done or meeting the WCAG, if you’re still concerned, you can contact the DOJ directly.
Make Your Website Compliant!
Seeing all of the criteria that needs to be met for compliance, it’s clear that it’s a big undertaking. Some parts of that undertaking are not possible for you to accomplish. At webFEAT Complete, we can take that off of your plate and make sure your website is in a position to serve everyone properly, and abide by the law. We handle GDPR compliance too!
How much does it cost to become ADA and/or GDPR compliant? It depends on the size of your website, the number of specific components and elements in need of adjustment or creation.
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