The Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design in September 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.
If a website isn’t ADA compliant, it’s susceptible to a lawsuit. Last year, there were 2,285 ADA website lawsuits filed in federal courts across the nation, an increase of a 181% from 2017, according to website accessibility company UsableNet.
There is an active lawsuit in Florida against 175 business owners filed by a visually-impaired woman. Because the websites aren’t providing ADA compliant digital features, she doesn’t have the capabilities to use their websites, thus breaking ADA standards. “The attorneys are telling us, ‘You can’t fight this. There’s nothing you can do, just write them a check,'” said Ben Tundis, the owner of Island Comfort Footwear, who is currently being sued.
Some requirements by the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Content must be coded for audio translation by screen-reader software
- There must be on-screen captions in videos for screen-reader software to read to the blind and descriptions for the deaf
- Sites must include accessible drop-down menus for those who use a keyboard as an alternative to a mouse.
- Sites must allow for color distortion for the visually impaired
- Sites must include text size adaptability
When deciding what web design agency to go with, be sure that the developers know about ADA compliance, it’s importance, and it’s requirements. Whether your website is up and running or is an upcoming project, be sure to include ADA compliance standards to not only expand your reach but to also abide by laws made to ensure inclusiveness.
If you’re worried you’re a sitting duck, unsure of your website’s capabilities, or if you’re simply interested in more information about ADA compliance and digital inclusion, contact dezinsINTERACTIVE. We strive to be inclusive, informed and innovative. Let’s create amazing things together – things that everyone can use.