What Law Firms Need To Know About ADA Compliance Online


ADA Compliance stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. It entails the accessibility of all digital information and technology to people with disabilities. No business or company is exempt from adhering to the ADA and should be familiar with its requirements as stated. More specifically, web accessibility for law firms is crucial!

Most expect law firms to be among the most knowledgeable groups of people who deal with legal requirements. As this industry deals directly with the law, lawyers are typically the last people who would want to get involved in legal issues.

However, is the matter so severe that you need to hire an ADA compliance company to review your website? So to answer all your questions and for law firms to become experts on this topic, this article will cover all you need to know about web accessibility for law firms.

What Does ADA Compliance For Websites Entail?

Numerous laws in the US give disabled people civil rights. These laws include the 1990-enacted Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 2008-enacted Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA). These laws forbid discrimination against individuals with disabilities and call for institutions to provide them with reasonable accommodations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Title III states that no individual shall be subject to discrimination based on their disabilities. They have the right to experience the equal and complete enjoyment of services, goods, facilities, advantages, and privileges of any public accommodation by the person who owns, leases, or operates it.
The law covers both physical and online businesses, including service providers and retailers on the internet. In other words, your website content must be available to all users if your company has an online presence. Adjusting your website to make it more user-friendly and accessible for people with disabilities is a vital part of this.

Why Should Law Firms Ensure Their Website Is ADA Compliant?

Undoubtedly, ADA compliance for websites can be a headache with many rules and regulations. Some law firms disregard the law entirely when developing their websites. But if Kylie Jenner and Winn-Dixie can get sued for their websites not being accessible to everyone, you may face severe consequences as well. Some possible consequences you may face include –

1. Legal Fees
Attorney fees can be pretty high if a company defends itself in court. Also, keep in mind that if the company loses the case, it will likely be responsible for paying the plaintiff’s legal fees and other costs.
Target eventually settled a class-action civil lawsuit in 2008 and paid more than $6 million for damages. They also had to pay an extra $4 million for the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees in addition to this charge.The cost of ADA non-compliance to the company, including personal legal fees, was probably over $15 million.

2. Civil Penalty
Your company might also be required to pay a fine to the government if your website is inaccessible to specific people. Other than court costs, you may also need to pay fines to the government.
A company that violates the ADA’s accessibility regulations may need to pay between $55,000 and $75,000 in fines. Continuous violations can incur even more considerable penalties of $150,000 or more.

3. Staff Training
Let’s say you forgot to make your website accessible. Your actual storefront may fully meet the ADA requirements. However, the court might insist that you and your staff undergo ADA training.
Consider how a 2012 update rendered the website inaccessible to screen readers, leading to a lawsuit against Seattle Public Schools. The school had to settle and spent about $750,000 on an accessibility coordinator, ADA staff training, lawyers’ fees, website upgrades, and website maintenance.

How Can Law Firms Make Their Website ADA Compliant?

It’s best if you kept some factors in mind to make your law firm’s website ADA compliant. They are –

1. Optimized media: For videos, images, and audio files on your website, you must include alt tags or text descriptions incorporated into the website’s source code. Screen reader websites can read and describe the content of your website, which people with visual impairments frequently use.

2. Simple, User-friendly Website: An essential practice for law firm websites is to have a simple, user-friendly design accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. The elements of your website, such as the menus, links, and everything else in between, should be simple to understand and use.

3. HTML standard tags: This is an essential requirement for ADA compliance. For people with disabilities to easily read or hear the contents of your webpage, everything should be available in plain-text format.

4. Navigability with a Keyboard: Many disregard the ability to navigate a website using only the keyboard. But many people with disabilities won’t be able to use the website without this feature.


Nowadays, website accessibility for law firms is a pressing issue, but many often tend to disregard it as they are not knowledgeable enough about it. So here we shared everything you need to know about web accessibility for law firms.

Hope this article has informed you about the importance of hiring an ADA compliance company ASAP! Thanks for reading up till now.

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