A recent change to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has large and small business owners worried that their websites may be at risk, not from virus or cyberattack, but from litigation.
What Is the ADA?
The goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to accommodate individuals with disabilities in all areas of everyday public life. The civil rights law was signed on July 26, 1990—one year before CERN computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee published the world’s first website on August 6, 1991.
Since then, Americans have largely migrated onto the internet. In fact, so much of our daily lives are spent online that the Department of Justice has reinterpreted Title III of the ADA to include websites as “places of public accommodation.”
Websites Are at Risk
The new requirements mean that websites with significant inaccessible components such as video without closed captioning, missing alt text for images, or automatic pop-ups can now be deemed discriminatory against persons with disabilities and in violation of the ADA. Unfortunately, the ADA is a strict liability law which means there are no excuses to non-compliance, so owners of non-compliant websites are being subjected to hefty fines.
New Standards Guide
With many businesses finding their websites the target of lawsuits, the DOJ has released a roadmap called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 to get companies on the right track toward compliance. However, while the intent behind WCAG 2.1 is to help make websites accessible, the guidelines are difficult to navigate and, ironically, inaccessible for many business owners.
ADA Compliance Assistance
If you lack the technological expertise required to decipher the DOJ’s long and dense web accessibility guidelines, then rely on the professional services of Web Solutions of America for help.
At WSOA, our team of web design and development experts can customize and update your website to ensure that it is ADA compliant and that you are protected from litigation. We can also help you reach a wider audience through our SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing services. To learn more on how to become ADA compliant, please give us a call at 407-636-4233 today.