Law firm websites are some of the most common service websites for the more significant population. When these websites are inaccessible to a large population, the firms are bound to face the consequences. If your law firm has an inaccessible website, you may face website accessibility or ADA-compliant website lawsuits.
Since law firm websites give help-seekers a chance to get information regarding the law – everyone would visit them. But having your website be inaccessible to disabled people can violate ADA regulations. Not only that – having an accessible website can help your firm in many ways other than avoiding lawsuits. So, let’s check out why accessibility should be a priority.
How Does Website Accessibility Help Law Firms?
An accessible website can improve the experience for any website visitor by a wide margin. Since law firm websites are public service sites, they should be accessible to everybody. Since making your website accessible can give you legal and financial benefits, law firms also have something to gain from website accessibility.
Improved User Experience For All Users
Whether your user base requires additional aid to use law firm sites, accessibility can ensure they have a better experience. Your website should be able to cater to most of the population, including people with disabilities. Only about one in five people in the USA have a disability.
Fortunately, adding accessibility tools such as alt text can also help abled users in times of need. Overall, ensuring your website is accessible can bring in more visitors crediting to its easy user experience.
Complying With ADA Regulations – Avoid Lawsuits
Website accessibility lawsuits are more common than you think. In 2017, the USA saw around 814 cases directed toward websites that the masses could not access. The suits result from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’s Title III.
The ADA’s Title III protects people with disabilities from discrimination in a place of public accommodation. Since law firm websites are a place of help and information, one could easily consider them a place of public accommodation – even a court judge.
Therefore, per the ADA regulations, your website requires tools for accessibility. Not only does it ensure upholding civil rights, but it also helps your firm avoid any additional legal battles.
Boosting SEO Advantages
When you make your website more accessible, search engines pick up on it. Leading search engines like Google are more likely to put accessible websites to the forefront – boosting SEO for your firm.
The programs that decide which websites get more hits tend to pick up on better visual information and accessibility options. So, as you improve user experience – you can ultimately enjoy SEO benefits for the site.
Accessible websites do not directly benefit financially from accessibility tools. It is more of a result of all the efforts. Since your website’s accessibility options bring in more visitors, you can earn better from the website over time.
Additionally, lawsuits are common for accessibility concerns on law firm websites. By providing users with an accessible experience, you can avoid the legal expenses of handling a case. Therefore, accessibility will also favor you financially.
What Is An ADA Compliant Website Accessibility Lawsuit – And How Can It Affect You?
The ADA-compliant website accessibility lawsuit holds websites accountable for not complying with ADA guidelines. Suppose your law firm’s website does not provide accessibility tools for every user. In that case, a disadvantaged user can issue a lawsuit against you. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’s Title III protects the right to accessibility in spaces like public info websites.
Title III protects the right of people with disabilities to have proper access to any public domain as an able-bodied person. While the grounds are unclear whether it is okay to consider a public domain website, perspectives are changing. It is more than likely that a civil judge will consider a law firm’s website as public domain.
Therefore, if your website does not employ tools to help every user equally, it can risk a lawsuit. From then on, not only will your law firm website be liable for losing a part of your client demographic – you can potentially lose money as well.
Ways To Prioritize Website Accessibility For Your Law Firm
As a lawyer, there are methods to ensure your law firm’s website passes accessibility checks on all grounds. It must follow accessibility guidelines – and then you can make sure to check it using evaluation tools.
Comply With Accessibility Guidelines
The existing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) can make your job more manageable.
1. The user interface must be designed so that every user can perceive the components of the website.
2. Every user should be able to navigate parts of the site, and every feature should be operable universally.
3. The information on the site should be presented in a way that every user can understand.
4. The website should be dynamic and well-built with accessibility tools. Assistive technology should complement the website’s structure so users can have the whole experience.
Within WCAG standards, there are levels to ensure how well your website can help the overall population. The classes are named A through AAA, where AAA is the highest standard of digital accessibility.
Evaluate Your Website
Currently, it is easy to check whether your website follows ADA-approved guidelines. Online tools are less reliable but easy to use in the evaluation process. And in case you want a more reliable evaluation, you can look up services built by experts to check your site.
Make Your Website More Disability Inclusive
At ADAforweb, we have created an informed solution to make digital accessibility more manageable than ever. We can evaluate your website to look for digital accessibility compliance, deliver accessibility statements, and provide remediation services.
Our goal is to create a more disability-friendly digital space. If your website needs some touch-up on accessibility – or you are simply worried about it being accessible enough, schedule a call with us.
If not for simply avoiding ADA-compliant website accessibility lawsuits, an accessible site can open the door of information for many of the population. So while you build a public service website, check all the boxes to ensure everyone can receive help from it.