Is website ADA compliance important?
If I were to ask you if your business is ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) what is the first thing to come to your mind? No doubt you are envisioning a ramp to facilitate access to your shop, business, or office. Maybe an elevator to ensure that disabled clients are able to reach the second floor with ease. However, your business is most likely STILL not in compliance with the ADA law. Let us talk about website ADA compliance:
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is interpreted legally as including WEBSITES as “places of accommodation”. Your website is subject to the same scrutiny as the physical location of your business.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ruled in previous cases that websites should be designed so they are accessible to individuals who have “vision”, “hearing”, and “physical disabilities”. Websites that are not sufficiently accessible by disabled members of the community are not ADA compliant and open themselves up to being labeled as “discriminatory against persons with disabilities” in violation of title III of the ADA.
ADA is a Strict Liability Law
ADA is a strict liability law which means there are no excuses or defenses for violations (e.g. ignorance, web developer is working on it, etc).
To make matters worse, legal recourse for being non-ADA compliant website is on the rise. In 2018 there were 2,285 website lawsuits filed in federal courts across the nation, an increase of 181 percent since 2017, according to website accessibility company UsableNet. Small businesses are therefore becoming prey to opportunistic plaintiff attorneys who see most small businesses as proverbial “sitting ducks”, who more often than not did not realize that website accessibility was a legal issue in the first place.
The maximum civil penalty for the first violation of website ADA compliance ranges from $55,000 to $75,000, a second violation rises from $110,000 to $150,000.
The Bright Side
The good news is there are solutions to the compliance problem. More and more companies are taking the initiative to safeguard themselves from being legally blind-sided by plaintiff attorneys looking for a quick settlement from non-ADA compliant websites.
It has become our mission here at 2Leaf web development to inform workplaces and places of business. Not only protect themselves against these legal challenges of ADA compliance but to spread the word of this looming threat in the future.
Furthermore, 2Leaf development also sees the potential investment opportunities for revamping your website… To not only make it ADA compliant but to increase traffic, and gain new customers. Customers who may have been closed off to your website because it simply was inaccessible to them.
According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 8 Americans has a disability. That is 12.6 percent of the American population or roughly 40 million Americans! That is a lot of potential customers and clients. Those customers may be steered away from doing business with you because of website inaccessibility.
We here at 2Leaf website design can audit your website at no cost to you. We can incorporate accommodations into your website that will make you ADA compliant. We can give you the peace of mind you deserve as well as granting your business a substantive advantage over your competitors. If you are interested in learning more, you can schedule a call, or fill out the form below: