The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to guarantee equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The law states that all “places of public accommodation” are legally required to remove any “access barriers” that make it more difficult for people with disabilities to access the business’s goods or services. Traditionally, this meant that businesses serving the public had to make sure their place of business accommodated people with disabilities. Today, ADA compliance can also apply to a business’s digital activity, including their website. Users who navigate by voice, use screen readers, or utilize other assistive technologies should be able to access the content as well as perform any of the digital activities available on your business’s website.
If you are not sure if your website is ADA compliant, it is absolutely worth looking into. Here is why:
1. Prevent expensive penalties & lawsuits.
If your website is not compliant, you are leaving your business open to financial liabilities. You may have heard of various brands being hit with lawsuits in recent years, including Kylie Jenner’s business, Kylie Cosmetics, for not being accessible for users with disabilities. Website compliance is especially important for government entities, as many offer online services that should be available to those with vision, hearing, or other disabilities.
2. The benefits outweigh the cost.
ADA Compliance may sound daunting, but any seasoned web professional can help you navigate the guidelines fairly easily. Improving your website’s accessibility should not break your budget and is much more cost-efficient than facing penalties or lawsuits.
3. The Accessibility Guidelines can actually help improve the user experience and optimize your website for search.
Strong accessibility can mean better search engine optimization (SEO) and a better experience for all users. When you make improvements to the readability of your website, you are also allowing search engines such as Google to better understand it. While SEO and ADA Compliance are not one in the same, a professional web agency understands how they can complement one another.
4. Accessibility expands your business’s online audience.
Nearly 20% of the country’s population lives with a disability. That means if you don’t have an accessible website, you are likely limiting your business’s online audience. Making basic improvements to the structure and code of your site can ensure those with disabilities can read the content, understand what your site is about, and buy your products and/or services.
While the legal need for ADA website compliance is currently open to interpretation, an experienced digital agency can help your business understand the steps to make sure your site is more accessible for those with disabilities. If you have questions about the accessibility of your website, contact us!