Is Your Business Website ADA Compliant?

What is ADA Compliance?

The (American Disabilities Association (ADA) defines a person with a disability as having a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”.

The American Disabilities Act is a broad set of rules and has been put into place for American businesses to follow so that proper access can be available for disabled persons. These rules apply to anything that a disabled person might need access to, from fair housing to voting to access the World Wide Web. Under the Act of 1990, businesses and governments are required to make accommodations for persons who are legally disabled.

Providing wheelchair access, reserved parking, improving accessibility in work areas, and websites providing accommodations for the vision and hearing disabled are just a few of the examples that corporations need to be ADA compliant. 

In this article, we will be focusing on what business websites need to provide on their websites for the disabled.

What Can Happen if My Website is Not ADA Compliant?

Violations of websites that maintain inaccessible technologies and do not accommodate persons with disabilities may be subjected to legal action and lawsuits

The concern here is – how to determine if your website is ADA compliant and what can be done if it is not? Those that do not adhere to the ADA rules could be subjected to legal action and lawsuits. Believe it or not, there are lawyers that surf the web looking for non ADA compliant websites and notify the business of their noncompliance.

In the end, there usually is a settlement, but in actuality, it amounts to nothing more than a shakedown for cash. With that said, there are of course legitimate cases where a handicapped person or group of people run into a frustrating situation because they cannot retrieve the information they are looking for on a website and consequently, a lawsuit may materialize. The monetary damages can run from $25,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. More information about  ADA compliant lawsuits can be found here.

How Do We Begin to Make Sure a Website is ADA Compliant?

Disapbled woman in wheel chair with laptop
Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

For starters, a compliant website would need to address the issue of font sizes and color variances for those that are partially blind and access to an audio screen reader for those that are legally blind. But it doesn’t stop there. There are changes in the HTML code that are needed; such as, providing code that ensures images are audio compliant, meaning that the picture that cannot see or cannot see correctly is being read back to them in a descriptive format. For a more elaborate description of the software technologies needed to ADA compliance can be found here.

Regardless of the legal aspect, it is surely beneficial for businesses to provide accommodations for those that are disabled in any manner required. 

How Can I Help?

There are many organizations that provide monetary and other assistance for the disabled.

      • 4-Paws for Ability provides service dogs to those who are in need.
      • Family to Family Network is for children with disabilities and their families and provides information, referrals, training, and support in areas of education, health care, and social services. 
      • Tunnel to Towers is a phenomenal organization that offers assistance to first responders, law enforcement officers, and veterans who have become physically disabled while in the line of duty. Tunnel to Towers is currently providing mortgage-free homes for these heroes.

        These are just three of a wide range of charitable assistance that you can donate to help the disabled. You can Google “Charities for the disabled” for information on more of these organizations. 

Please consider a donation today!