ADA Compliance is a hot topic, especially if you have a public website and a business that caters to the masses. Website owners in the financial industry (e.g., FDIC insured companies) are raising concerns as noncompliance can lead to class action litigation.

tl;dr Get your website in compliance with WCAG 2.0 level AA. If you need help, contact us.

Website accessibility. Do it. Do it now.

You might have seen some of the headlines already or you might be interested in how this affects your company. Hopefully you’re genuinely interested in having your site be compliant for altruistic reasons rather than just avoiding a lawsuit. Either way, this article should help you figure it out.

First a bit of background. In 2003 the Department of Justice issued a doc which provided guidelines for government website accessibility. The intention of this was to ensure people with disabilities are able to correspond with their state and local government, participate in programs, apply for jobs, as well as access and update information when using assistive technologies to navigate the internet. Imagine visiting a website and not being able to read the text because it’s too small or not accessible by a screen reader. Site accessibility was and still is a genuine issue for a majority of websites.

The DOJ’s efforts focused on state and local government websites and mandated compliance. Basically any website built in order to serve the public and funded by the government had to be compliant. Not meeting compliance requirements could be considered discrimination against the disabled. Lately we’ve seen this expand to the financial sector as well as businesses with sites that receive large amounts of traffic like groceries stores, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment sites. Some lawyers are eagerly seeking to file class action lawsuits.

Accessibility isn’t just a legal concern.
It’s a wise design choice.

If you’re getting caught up and want a quick explanation on the WHY of accessibility, I think this video straight from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) does an amazing job of explaining why designing your digital experience for accessibility is important.

 

By now you’re probably asking how your site can be accessible. You might even be dealing with one of these (scary!) demand letters for compliance. If your company is in the process of building a new site or you already have an existing site you may be wondering how to go about making it accessible and ADA compliant. UC Berkeley has a good article on 10 tips for making your website accessible.

If you need professional help with accessibility, contact us!

Our team is well versed in designing and developing for accessibility. We are experts at helping with compliance efforts and educating clients about the importance of website accessibility. We can immediately begin making improvements on your existing site to meet ADA compliance and WCAG 2.0 level AA standards, making your website accessible to everyone.

Here’s a list of how we help our clients with accessibility:

  • Auditing websites for accessibility
  • Cleaning up non-compliant errors
  • Providing regular reporting on accessibility scores
  • Educating your marketing teams on how to create accessible content
  • Sharing tips and tools on how to catch and prevent accessibility errors

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about website accessibility feel free to leave a comment below!

Author

Jason Piemeisl

Interactive product developer, principal user interface engineer, technical leader and digital consultant in the front end space. Can sometimes be found snowboarding in the mountains.

3 Responses to “Website Accessibility is a Good Design Choice and soon a Legal Requirement”

  1. Tobi

    Good article, found this on a local search. Is there anything to do like alt tags in images tha are an easy checklist to go through for a new site or an existing site. We are looking to miove off our wordpress platform currently and do not want to do things “the bad old way” again..

    Thanks,

    Reply
  2. Tobi

    HaHa Yes! Thank you Thank you Exactly the resource I needed!

    Thank you and good luck with your website too, jpiemisl!

    Thanks,

    Reply

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