Does your website meet ADA regulations? Could you be at risk of a fine?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses and nonprofit services providers make accessibility accommodations to enable the individuals with disabilities to access the same services as clients who are not disabled.
While websites, apps, and electronic media are not included as “services” in the current version of the ADA, the Department of Justice has signaled their intent to issue future regulations to include websites.
What Does This Mean For You?
Because the current version of the ADA doesn’t have clear regulations, plaintiffs are winning lawsuits and collecting settlements for websites that courts decide are not in compliance. In 2017, there were 814 website accessibility lawsuits filed in federal and state courts. DOJ fines start at $75,000!
Why Does Your Website Need to Be ADA Complaint?
Although estimates vary, most studies find that about one fifth (20%) of the population has some kind of disability; a significant portion of whom have difficulty accessing the internet.
Many people with disabilities use assistive technology that enables them to use computers. These might be external devices or programs such as screen readers, refreshable Braille displays, text enlargement software, and voice control software. Poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people using these programs.
How to Protect Your Company
If you have, or plan to have 15 or more employees you must take action to ensure your website is ADA compliant.
- Give every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. an alt tag
An “alt” tag (short for “alternative text”), is used to provide brief text descriptions of images that screen readers can understand and speak.
- Include a “skip navigation” link at the top of web pages
This allows people who use screen readers to ignore navigation links and skip directly to webpage content.
- Add captions to videos
- Minimize blinking or flashing features
- Documents posted in PDF format are also available in text-based format
At Giant Hat, we are keeping our fingers on the pulse of accessibility of websites and digital content. We have been designing new websites with these most important features in mind. If you have concerns about your website’s accessibility, we are glad to help make your website ADA compliant. Contact us now.