How Does ADA Compliance Effect Your Website?
What is ADA?
Is your website ADA compliant? Do you know what ADA means? If you answered "No" to either of these questions, sit back, relax, and let us share some of our ADA expertise with you.
ADA compliance means that your website meets the standards that are set in place by the Americans With Disabilities Act, established in 1990. This act states that people with disabilities are, by law, entitled the freedom to interact in the world with minimal limitations or hurdles. If your website is not ADA compliant, there is no rush or reason to panic, however, you should take ADA into consideration.
Legal action has been taken against a multitude of companies who's websites do not meet ADA compliance standards. For example, Domino’s recently experienced this first hand when a blind man, Guillermo Robles, sued the company for their website inaccessibility. He was unable to order food on Domino’s website and mobile app, despite using screen-reading software.
It's the law
Ultimately, if businesses do not maintain accessible websites, people with disabilities could be effectively shut out of substantial portions of the economy. This is against the law on the basis that people with disabilities should have access to full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered.
Let us be clear, “accessible” does not simply mean being able to access the website, but it also means being able to place an order, navigate a slideshow, read a blog post, and utilize the same functionality that a person without a disability would be able to perform.
At Eternity, we have made it our mission to help organizations navigate their path to online accessibility, giving more people access to their products and services. The Department of Justice has stated that websites offering goods or services to consumers are places of public accommodation and must be accessible to people with disabilities.
They have not, however, provided any strict requirements or guidelines for website accessibility. This has left the accessibility of websites in the hands of lawyers and the courts.
The Domino's case
In the Domino’s case, the company asked the Supreme Court to rule that ADA compliance didn’t apply to websites and apps, arguing the ADA law enacted in 1990 predated the modern internet and that there were no firm rules businesses could comply with to make their online assets accessible.
The lawsuit is one of an increasing number of filed disputes over website accessibility in recent years. There were more than 2,200 similar lawsuits last year, nearly tripling the number from the previous year.
The Domino’s lawsuit will hopefully require businesses to take website accessibility concerns more seriously. People with disabilities must have proper access to the website's functionality in order to fully and equally participate in modern society.
Again, this is not something to cause you to panic... yet! Even if you do have a non-compliant ADA website or you're unsure if your website is ADA compliant, it is not the end of the world and it can be fixed. However, it does require time and that needs to be considered when working with a web service provider.
Let us help you
With all of that being said, we recommend you start by understanding ADA Compliance Standards and do your best to accommodate people with disabilities as well as people without disabilities.
Understanding ADA Compliance Standards:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content (ie: photos)
- Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia
- Make it easier for users to see and hear content
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard
- Do not use content that causes seizures (ie: bright flashes)
- Help users navigate and find content
- Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools
If you need assistance with your ADA Compliant website or if you know someone that does, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at Eternity. Contact our Founder, Mike Lannen at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience. He would love to discuss ADA with you and answer any questions you may have.