In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of lawsuits filed against businesses with inaccessible websites. Many of these lawsuits have been successful, resulting in hefty settlements and businesses ordered to make their websites compliant with the ADA and WCAG.
What is the ADA?
The ADA is a civil rights law that was passed in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including websites. The ADA applies to all businesses open to the public, including local brick-and-mortar stores and online businesses.
What is the WCAG?
The WCAG is a set of international guidelines for making web content accessible to people with disabilities. There are three levels of compliance: A, AA, and AAA. The higher the level, the more stringent the requirements. Most businesses aim for Level AA compliance.
What Are the Consequences of Not Being Compliant?
If your website is not compliant with the ADA or WCAG, you could be sued by an individual or group of individuals with disabilities. These lawsuits can be very expensive to defend, even if you ultimately win. If you lose, you may be ordered to make your website compliant and pay damages to the plaintiffs. Sometimes, businesses have been forced to pay millions of dollars in settlements.
How to make your website compliant with ADA and WCAG
The first step in making your website compliant with the ADA and WCAG is to audit your existing site to determine if it meets all of the accessibility requirements. If there are any issues, you will need to work with a web developer or accessibility consultant, like those at ClickUpLocal, to make the necessary changes. This can involve adding alt text to images, ensuring proper contrast between text and background colors, and making it possible for users to resize or zoom in on text.
Once your website has been fully audited, you will need to take steps to test it for accessibility regularly. You can use tools like the ADA & WCAG Website Accessibility Compliance Plan from AudioEye to ensure that any changes you make are implemented properly and check your website for ADA and WCAG compliance on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, keeping your website accessible is not only the law but also good business practice that will help you build trust with your customers and improve your bottom line.
As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with having an inaccessible website. You could be sued and ordered to make your website compliant and end up paying damages to the plaintiffs. To avoid these risks, it’s best to consult an accessibility expert and ensure your website is compliant from the outset.
If you want to ensure that your website is ADA / WCAG-compliant, it is important to work with experienced web developers with expertise in these areas. At ClickUpLocal, we have the knowledge and skills to help you create a website that is fully accessible and meets all of the necessary guidelines. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business thrive online!