Many of us have heard about ADA Act but only a few have knowledge about it. Is it a threat to business for not following ADA compliant guidelines? In this article, know all the basics of ADA Compliant website and go through the checklist provided to ensure you care about your all customers.
Basically, this act was made for the business person to treat all the users including the people who are not efficient to access due to some disabilities.
The American With Disability (ADA) Act, which was enacted in 1990, is a set of rules ensuring that everyone, including those with disabilities, has reasonable access to all areas of public life.
It’s not just applicable for the public areas, it’s also about the website owners to provide information that is effectively accessible to all.
What is ADA Compliance?
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) revised regulations for title II and III for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design in Sept 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities”.
The Revised Titles Stated as:
An overview of both of the revised titles is stated below.
Title II (State and Local Government)
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services
Title III (Public Accommodations)
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities
It is also noted that online ADA compliance is not mandatory on anything but government-managed websites. Instead, these rules act as guidelines to ensure that everyone should be able to access, read/view your website.
The ADA Compliance Issues:
ADA created suggestions for compliance but these suggestions do not make them law. The suggestions are the only guidelines for the website/business owners to follow. For example, disabled parking facilities mandates in the building codes. The same goes for the websites’ though. In addition, it is not explained completely. Thus, due to the lack of guidelines, it’s hard to judge whether a site is ADA compliance or not.
Is Your Website ADA Compliant?
Now, its time to look at your website to check is it ADA compliant or not. For this, here are a few checklist points you may go through:
Captions and Descriptions For All Videos – Make sure that all the video scenes have audio description for people who are blind or have low vision. Make sure the videos contain text captions so that people who are deaf or hard of hearing able to access it easily.
Alt Text For All Images – Providing text for each image is beneficial for the people who can read by using screen readers or Braille displays. By using Alt texts, people get the information that exactly what the image is for.
Ensure Your Website Meets Color contrast Standards – This is useful for those with low vision or color blindness. They can change the website’s color and font to read it without any problem.
Keyboard Navigation – Assistive technologies like imitate keyboard functionality is made for those who are navigating with their keyboard.
What To Do If You Get Sued
It is likely that most of the notices received are for the purpose of settlement. If you ever received a letter for a lawsuit or settlement, the first thing not to do is panic. Remain calm because it is not mandatory that you can follow all the guidelines in one website. In a situation like this, you may rather follow the steps below:
- Investigate – First of all, investigate yourself about the law firm in question. You can easily get your answers on the internet. Check out the details and seek out the credibility of the firm and who the experts are. Moreover, you must research who all in your industry has received a letter from the same firm. Eventually, you may find a lot of businesses if you know your industry. There could be a chance of a class-suit that would be beneficial for the businesses involved in your industry. To take this action, you must know your industry well.
- Understand the Claims Made Against You – Be sure that you have a firm that understands all the legal items that are highlighted in the letter. It would be great if you take help from outside. A legal counsel or digital agency is the better option to choose for this.
- Be Confident To Explain Anything To Plaintiff – Explaining to the plaintiff about the review of the grievance and talked with a lawyer in confidence. It would be good if you explain the guidelines of ADA Compliance. It will be better to let your attorney contact the plaintiff when making statements.
- Audit Your Website – A complete website accessibility audit is a pragmatic step to prevent getting an ADA lawsuit. It will show you accessibility issues on your website. For example, an audit may uncover that your PDF files can’t be read by assistive technology devices. It could also uncover issues around the alt-tags of images on your website. There are a lot of factors that go into ADA compliance. The audit will see where your site stands now and give you the steps you need to take to get it on track.
In conclusion, it is all a brief introduction about ADA compliance act, the checklist to inspect and additions to your website, last but not the least, steps to take if in case you are sued for the lawsuit.
The main concern is to take precautions and be on the safe side by making an audit of your website. You can consult, To Be ADA Compliant which provides web accessibility and consulting services. Schedule your appointment and get the best consultation for your website.