A web accessibility conformance statement serves as an evidence that your website is accessible. There are tons of benefits for this, starting from legal to company goodwill. The internet today is ingrained in every facet of our lives.
Different people from all walks of life rely on it in one way or another. And that also includes disabled people. With a conformance statement, you are officially ADA compliant. Here’s all you need to know about an ADA compliant website.
What Is Web Accessibility And A Conformance Statement
The ADA requires websites to be accessible for disabled users under Title III. It states that places of accommodation need to provide equal access to users. And websites are categorized as places of accommodation.
So, according to the law, a website in 2022 needs to be accessible to all kinds of users. This includes people with disabilities ranging from hearing, visual, and also cognitive.
Private plaintiffs can file a lawsuit if they find a website inaccessible. This is where a conformance statement comes in. What does conformance mean then? A conformance statement is just a simple proof that you’re doing it right.
It means that your website is accessible. To be more specific, it’s compliant with WCAG 2.1 guidelines. ADA doesn’t have any formal guidelines or criteria as to what guidelines a website should follow for ADA compliance. But the WCAG 2.1 guidelines are used as a general standard.
The Importance Of A Conformance Statement
A web accessibility conformance statement not only saves you from legal liability but also works to create goodwill as well. Legal fees for accessibility cases can skyrocket. Although most companies usually settle. And that can be around $14,000.
Litigation, on the other hand, can cost around $100,000. But the long-term impact is much more. If your website is not accessible, you might be losing potential customers. Simply because they are just unable to use your website. And that can end up costing much more.
It’s always in the best interest of any company or individual that owns a website to have an accessible one. It shows you care about your visitors. And this creates brand goodwill. In this hyper-competitive market, goodwill is priceless. That’s why an ADA compliant website, along with a conformance statement is crucial.
A Deeper Dive Into The Conformance Statement
A conformance statement is written by a third party who has thoroughly tested your websites. This is done to avoid any conflict of interest.
But that isn’t all. To receive a conformance statement, you need to keep in mind a couple of things. Let’s break these down further.
WCAG 2.1 Guideline Levels
WCAG 2.1 has multiple levels. A, AA, and AAA. A is the minimum level of accessibility requirement level. But it’s risky to only aim for the minimum. A lawsuit can be very costly. So, to cover all liabilities, companies should aim for at least AA.
Some might think that only the home page needs to be accessible. That isn’t the case though. If a visitor needs multiple pages to complete a task. All of those pages need to be compliant. For example, if a visitor is to sign up to your website.
They might need to click the sign-up button on the home page. And then navigate to a page where they will create an account. And finally, finish signing up. All the pages involved in this process should be accessible. That means it needs to follow WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
If your website has third-party content, it needs to be compliant and accessible as well. Monitoring systems will help identify any parts of the website that don’t meet ADA compliance.
This will help companies to catch liabilities much more quickly. An expert ADA compliance consultancy service can also be very helpful. You can check the WCAG 2.1 guideline yourself for specific web accessibility terms.
An accessible website creates a better and equal opportunity for everyone. At ADA for Web, our experts can help you with everything related to web accessibility and ADA compliance. When you have the right partner, then you don’t need to worry about accessibility-related issues.