The ADA Digital Accessibility Website Addon
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law in which places of business (like a website) need to be accessible, or it discriminates against people with disabilities. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) help evaluate a website and assist with it being ADA compliant.
The WCAG has three levels of compliance – Level A(minimum), Level AA(mid), Level AAA(highest).
All websites we build for our clients are at or above Level A compliance with the goal set for Level AA compliance. These include items like :
adding alt tags to media, correct headings and title tags, scalable font, appropriate page color contrasts, appropriate button names, and the list goes on.
The problem arises with staying compliant as laws or technology change and reaching Level AAA compliance, which can only be done with adaptive technology adding to a website.
Also, in 2021 alone, there were over 11,000 federal lawsuits filed against websites, and the number year over year continues to rise. So we have to ask whether Level A compliance is enough to stop or win a lawsuit? What about Level AA? We are not lawyers, so we are not sure. But with Level AAA compliance, your website is 100% compliant and above the pack and leading the charge with ADA compliance.
Why is ADA compliance so vital?
- The Department of Justice has affirmed that the ADA (which requires accessibility of places of public accommodation) applies to websites.
- It is estimated that 15% of the global population, and 1 in 4 Americans, lives with a disability of some sort.
- Digital accessibility is good business. If users can’t access or transact on your site, they can’t become customers.
- SEO benefits: sites that are friendly to assistive technology are also friendly to other technologies like Google bots.
With these issues and benefits coming to the front, we wanted to offer an add-on to all websites to address these questions. So we have a partnership with AudioEye, the industry-leading digital accessibility provider since 2005, to provide Level AAA compliance with adaptive technology.
Due to the complexities of the ADA law and, frankly, its many loopholes, we are not held liable for any lawsuits that may occur due to a website not being ADA compliant – in our (none lawyer) eyes – only 100% compliance, with Level AAA, and basic legal protection is the only option to ensure protection from lawsuits.
It’s up to each client to weigh the benefits of having this add-on to their website – we have it on our website – and we recommend it to all our current and future clients.