Can Your Websites Be Sued For ADA Compliance?

ADA website accessibility compliance is more than just a tool for your website. It is a requirement that you need to adhere to in order to keep your website accessible to all users. This leads many people to wonder can your websites be sued for ADA compliance? It is a common question by business owners and managers who are just becoming aware of the issue.

The goal of ADA compliance is to ensure equal access to services and a user-friendly experience for disabled people. So, by making your website ADA compliant, you do not discriminate against differently abled people. However, there is more to ADA compliance than we know. It is an obligatory requirement for websites to follow according to the Supreme Court decision.

Can Websites Be Sued For ADA Compliance?

The short answer is, yes, your websites can be sued for ADA compliance. Making your website ADA accessible is now a part of complying with the law. If you do not develop your websites to be ADA accessible, then you are not obeying the law. In that case, your website or organization could face an ADA lawsuit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1989. This act deals with several provisions and different types of accessibility issues to support disabled people. According to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act,all websites of federal agencies have to be ADA accessible. This includes a large majority of firms and organizations being ADA compliant.

Additionally, the 2019 Supreme Court decision states that ADA compliance is mandatory for a firm’s websites. So, if a company, firm, or organization does not have an ADA accessible website, they are defying the Supreme Court. This can result in penalties or even lawsuits. In summary, yes, your websites can be sued for ADA compliance.

A prominent example of this event is the case of Robles vs. Domino’s Pizza. The fast-food chain did not have an ADA-accessible website. So, a screen reader couldn’t place an order on the website. Hence, Domino’s Pizza was sued by a blind plaintiff. They were ordered by the court to pay $4,000 as well as all legal fees incurred by the plaintiff.

So, this case shows us that without ADA compliance, your websitecan become a threat to your company. Whereas, websites are an asset to the organization that can help bring in new customers and increase profitability. Without being ADA compliant, your organization will fail to fulfill this. Instead, you will be under the threat of an ADA lawsuit.

What Can You Do To Prevent ADA Lawsuit?

The first step to preventing ADA lawsuits from happening is to make sure that your website is ADA accessible. Ensuring web ADA accessibility will mitigate your risks of getting an ADA lawsuit. Additionally, it will also improve your website’s user experience and generate better profitability.

There are multiple steps that you can follow to make your website ADA compliant. Make sure to go through the ADA accessibility checklist to ensure that you are following all of them. You need to get the necessary awareness and education first. In that way, you can understand the requirements, advantages, and obligations of ADA compliance.

ADA compliance for your website can be done in multiple ways. Using alt text is a part of making your website ADA compliant. Alt text, or alternative text, conveys the message of an image to the screen reader. It is especially important for users who are using assistive devices to use the website.

Providing video transcripts can be a great addition. Similar to alt texts, it helps screen readers go through the contents of an audio or a video. Not only that, but all users can navigate through it and understand it better with video transcripts. Correct use of fonts, headlines, sub-points, color contrasts, ARIA landmarks, etc. is an important part of ADA accessibility.

So, make sure to follow the ADA accessibility guidelines and checklists to make your website ADA compliant. Similarly, you can also get the expertise of different firms that provide auditing, testing, and ensure ADA accessibility on your websites.

Conclusion

ADA accessibility is a necessity for your websites. You can ensure a better service and user experience on your websites by following the ADA compliance guidelines. Thus, you will be able to provide the best services to all customers.

Contact us to learn more about ADA website accessibility.

Working on a website can be difficult. Adding new media and updating pages is chore, even though you know your company website needs to evolve and become more accessible to the many users you are trying to reach. Maybe when you first built it, accessibility wasn’t even really discussed. But now you’ve taken a step back, looked at your customer base with a desire to include everyone and you’ve realized just how important it is to make your site accessible. However, the thought of building a robust site that can do all the things you want it to do is overwhelming.

What is Web Accessibility

A practice of designing and coding the website in order to provide complete compatibility in accessing it by people with disabilities. In addition, it is a way to improve search engine optimization only an ADA Compliant Web Designer will help you to make your website Compliant. Is your website compatible? By going through the checklist below, you can get the answer.

Assessing Current Web Pages and Content

  • The website must include a feature like a navigation link at the top of the page. These links have a bypass mechanism such as a “skip navigation” link. This feature directs screen readers to bypass the row of navigation links and start at the web page content. It is beneficial for people who use screen readers to avoid to listen to all the links each time they jump to a new page.
  • All the links should be understandable when taken out of the context. For example, images without alternative text and links without worded as “click here”.
  • All the graphics, maps, images, and other non-text content must provide text alternatives through the alt attribute, a hidden/visible long description.
  • All the documents posted on the website should available in HTML or another accessible text-based format. It is also applicable to other formats like Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • The online forms on the website should be structured so assistive technology can identify, describe and operate the controls and inputs. By doing this, people with disabilities can review and submit the forms.
  • If the website has online forms, the drop-down list should describe the information instead of displaying a response option. For instance, “Your Age” instead of “18-25”.
  • If the website has data charts and tables, they should be structured so that all data cells are associated with column and row identifiers.
  • All the video files on the website must have audio descriptions (if necessary). This is for the convenience of blind people or for having a visual impairment disability.
  • All the video files on the website must have synchronized captions. People with hearing problems or deaf can access these files conveniently.
  • All the audio files on the website should have synchronized captions to provide access to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • All web pages should be designed so that they can be viewed using visitors’ web browser and operating system settings for color and font.

About Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

  • One must have a written policy on website accessibility.
  • The website accessibility policy must be posted on the website at a location where it can be easily found.
  • The procedure should be developed to ensure that content is not added to the website until it has been made accessible.
  • It should be confirmed that the website manager has checked the code and structure of all new web pages before they are posted.
  • While adding the PDFs to the website, these should be accessible. Also, the text-based versions of the documents should be accessible at the same time as PDF versions.
  • Make sure that the in-house and contractor staff has received the information about the website accessibility policy and procedure to confirm the website accessibility.
  • It should be confirmed that in-house and contractor staff has received appropriate training on how to ensure the accessibility of the website.
  • The website should have a specific written plan if it contains inaccessible content. Also, it should include timeframes in place to make all of the existing web content accessible.
  • A complete plan to improve website accessibility should be posted along with invited suggestions for improvement.
  • The homepage should include easily locatable information that includes contact details like telephone number and email address. This is useful for reporting website accessibility problems and requesting accessibility services with information.
  • A website should have procedures in place to assure a quick response to the visitors with disabilities who have difficulty in accessing information or services available on the website.
  • Feedback from people who use a variety of assistive technologies is helpful in ensuring website accessibility. So make sure to ask disability groups representing people to provide feedback on the accessibility of your website.
  • Testing the website using a product available on the internet is helpful, These tools are of free cost and check the accessibility of a website. They may not identify all accessibility issues and flag issues that are not accessibility problems. However, these are, nonetheless, a helpful way to improve website accessibility.

Checklist of Action Items for Improving the Accessibility of a Website

In addition, while considering the above suggestions, the following checklist initially prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agencies provides further guidelines on ways to make websites more accessible for persons with disabilities.

This practical advice, as well as another checklist, are available at:

Satisfying all of these items does not necessarily mean that a website complies with ADA, but it will improve the website’s accessibility and decrease the risk of litigation. Again, an Expert or Web Accessibility Consulting & Services provider should be engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of your website.
Nothing brings you closer to reality than actually facing it. This is the premise of my latest attempt to spread awareness about Web Accessibility.
For better understand, here is a link in which a practical example is shown to make the websites’ user experience better by following the guidelines. Also, it tells the issues affecting various users on the internet with solutions.
You can make your website ADA compliant in an easy way by consulting the professionals, who can do this job effortlessly. Also, you can get a quick website audit from To Be ADA Compliant that offers complete web accessibility consulting & services in California, USA.

Resource: https://dev.to/chinchang/an-interactive-and-practical-introduction-to-web-accessibility-22o1