Could your company’s website be a liability waiting to happen?
Many business owners know that their brick-and-mortar establishments must be accessible to all visitors. This requirement can necessitate installing ramps and automatic door openers, ensuring bathrooms are wheelchair accessible, and providing van accessible parking spaces.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guides businesses in the creation of these accessible physical spaces. This same act also requires most companies to make their digital properties accessible to all visitors as well.
If a company website is found not to be ADA compliant and accessible to all visitors, business owners may find themselves on the receiving end of steep fines.
The ADA is a civil rights law. It is in effect to ensure that places of business remain accessible to all Americans, regardless of any disabilities.
Many technologies exist to help individuals with disabilities navigate the internet. These tools may include software like screen readers and voice commands as well as hardware such as specialized mice and keyboards. Under the ADA, websites must provide equal information to all visitors, regardless of any assistive tools they must be using.
While the ADA is a law, and compliance is mandatory, the requirements for online accessibility are not as clear-cut as they are for in-person ADA access. Because websites may render differently across different browsers and devices, it is advisable to work with a professional ADA compliance service. An expert designer well versed in ADA compliance can create and maintain an accessible website that grows with your business’ evolving needs.
At the time of writing, there are several categories of businesses that must be ADA compliant:
Efforts to make websites ADA compliant are recommended for all businesses, even those that are not currently required to comply. There are multiple benefits to achieving ADA compliance with your website, including:
If your business website is not ADA compliant, you may be at risk of incurring fines, penalties, and violations.
Businesses who get taken to court over non-ADA compliant websites may find themselves paying between $75,000 and $150,000 for each violation. Federally funded companies may also find themselves stripped of their funding after an ADA violation goes to court.
The cost of adapting a website to be ADA compliant is often far less than the amount that would be assessed in fines and court fees for non-compliance lawsuits. Additionally, ADA compliant websites typically ensure excellent user experience for all visitors, helping to increase sales and conversions online. The benefits of ADA compliant websites far outweigh the cost of taking a risk with non-compliance.
There are several stages involved in creating an ADA compliant website. Ultimately, an ADA compliant website will be easily understandable to all visitors and their accessibility tools. Many of the features required to make an ADA compliant website are also necessary for excellent on-page SEO. BlendIM’s website design experts can create a fully optimized and accessible site for your business.
Achieving appropriate levels of access may include updating multiple features, such as:
It’s important to note that creating a website with WordPress or a drag-and-drop builder does not guarantee ADA compliance. It is the responsibility of each company leader to ensure their physical and digital properties are accessible to all Americans. Engaging the services of a reputable ADA compliant service company is the best way to establish a website that is in line with all current regulations and recommendations.
BlendIM’s nationally recognized website design team works with companies of all sizes to create fully accessible and attractive websites. Whether your business is preparing to launch a brand-new site or is concerned about the accessibility of an existing site, our experts can help. Contact us today to discover how simple ADA compliance can be for your enterprise.