by Athena Gipson
If you’re wondering what ADA compliant means, then we urge you to keep reading or your business may be in some trouble.
On July 26, 1990 (practically the internet dark ages), President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law.
The importance of the ADA is immeasurable. It ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as those without disabilities. The ADA provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities like those provided to individuals based on race, color, sex, national origin, age and religion.
But, the ADA didn’t happen overnight. Although it was signed into law in 1990, the discussion regarding the inequalities that people with disabilities face started as far back as the 70’s.
So, why are you reading about the ADA on a digital media blog? As you can tell by the dates mentioned above, websites along with most digital channels weren’t prominent at that time. While businesses had rules and regulations regarding door widths and wheelchair ramps, the ADA lacked any concrete regulations regarding measures that should be taken on websites to ensure people with disabilities have the same access to the website info as people without disabilities.
While over time there have been amendments to the ADA (even as recent as 2017), regulations regarding websites have remained a grey area for most of the ADA’s existence.
However, in the last three years, there have been significant increases of both large corporations and small businesses being sued over their websites not being ADA compliant. A more notable case being the ruling against Domino’s Pizza, where a blind man sued the pizza franchise for the inaccessibility of its website.
In fact, a study was conducted in 2019 that tested millions of website homepages and concluded that 98% of websites failed to meet recommended requirements of website accessibility for disabled people.
This means that chances are if you have a website, you are a part of that 98%. Settlements in ADA website compliance cases typically range from $3,000 to $25,000+ depending on the size of the business. And the worst part – just because a business is sued once regarding ADA compliance, doesn’t mean that the business cannot be sued again. Unfortunately, this is very common.
Below are just a few things to consider as you move to make your website ADA compliant:
Making sure important aspects of your website are accessible (HTML headings, images, forms, etc.)
Ensuring your site is friendly to screen readers
Clear and concise headings
Informative link texts
Images with text descriptions
Audio and videos with transcripts or subtitles
Easy keyboard navigation
No time out limits on any of your web pages
… And a ton more!
If you need assistance ensuring that you are protected and that your website is compliant, do not hesitate to reach out! We’re more than happy to help you transition your business’s website to an ADA compliant site so that your products and services are available to everyone.