What Does ADA Compliance Have to Do with My Business Website?
According to the regulations stipulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III, all business websites must be accessible to visitors with disabilities. The risk for businesses that do not comply with ADA Title II includes the potential for being sued and all related legal expenses. What is interesting about these regulations is that they do not specifically include websites in the language, along with stores, shops, offices, and other brick-and-mortar businesses. However, federal judges have been interpreting the law, which, as enacted before the explosion of the internet and use of websites for business, to qualify websites as a “public place of accommodation,” as described in terms of the Act.
Today’s websites now provide the means for individuals to browse for information, shop online, schedule doctor’s appointments, pay bills, order groceries to be delivered, and obtain many other essential services. As a result, many disability rights activists, legal scholars, and judges have all agreed that websites must be accessible for everyone, including people with a wide range of disabilities. Have you taken the time to get ADA compliant? SouthCoast Internet has found a simple and cost-effective software-based ADA solution that can help you overcome website accessibility issues now and in the future.
Does the Type of Business Matter?
Because there are such a wide range of businesses that disabled individuals might want to use, the general assessment in this area is that all business-based websites should be accessible according to the ADA, Title III standards. Not only does it just make sense to ensure that anyone can view, navigate, and use your website regardless of their abilities or disabilities, but it is also the law. There are many benefits to ADA website compliance, even beyond meeting the legal standards for accessibility. Working with a professional web developer to ensure that all website accessibility issues have been addressed is good for business.
When you consider the wide range of disabilities beyond vision and hearing, it becomes apparent that ADA website compliance is something that every organization should embrace. Some of the benefits to businesses can include increased sales, improved services, and better customer reviews. Your customers will appreciate the steps that you have taken to accommodate their needs, and satisfaction will improve across the board. Medical practices, home repair services, hospitality and travel businesses, restaurants, and grocery – when you think about your business and what you do, the chances are good that you will directly benefit when you choose to get ADA compliant.
What Happens if My Website is Not ADA Compliant?
As technology grows and expands, the world evolves and changes along with it. In recent years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against businesses that had website accessibility issues. This is not just a civil right, but also a way to ensure that your business is available to anyone who wants to use it. Whether you sell pizzas, provide plumbing repair services, deliver groceries, or sell materials for entrepreneurs, it is your responsibility to make sure that you get ADA compliant for your website and your brick-and-mortar store. This goes beyond parking spaces and wheelchair ramps, providing ADA website compliance tools that will help visitors purchase goods, order services, communicate with customer service representatives, and conduct business with your organization.
Many of the lawsuits that are filed seek both injunctive and compensatory relief for the violations of ADA, Title III. This can include legal cases that involve vision or hearing impaired individuals, as well as violations for other types of disabilities, including cognitive, language, and other learning disabilities. The current guidelines being used by judges to enforce ADA website compliance address specific needs to ensure that your website is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. This means it must be able to be understood, interpreted, navigated, and used by all visitors, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Unfortunately, many of these cases are seen as very lucrative in some markets for the attorney that represents the client, as they are easy to prosecute, difficult to defend, and frequently end in a settlement. This makes cases that involve website accessibility issues attractive to many lawyers at this time, which is why these types of lawsuits are becoming more prevalent.
What Can You Do?
The best advice is to get ADA compliant. Once you have decided to embrace ADA website compliance for your business, it’s time to figure out how to achieve this goal. While there are several options, ranging in price and complexity, at SouthCoast Internet, we have discovered a simple and affordable software-based ADA solution that takes all of the guesswork out of website accessibility issues and provides quick results. Our team can assist you in this process and help you to add this service to your website. You can visit our ADA Compliance page, which features additional information about this solution, or you can contact our team directly by calling 508-415-8648 to discuss your needs. We are highly recommending this add-on service to our clients and anyone who owns a website, and we will be offering it to all new clients that we serve in the future.