You’ve heard about the lawsuits in the news, from your buying groups, and now even your advertising agency. This is a serious and concerning topic because no one is safe, not even Beyoncé. Companies, both big and small, are being sued because their digital assets and websites that are meant to serve the public don’t offer accessibility features for people with disabilities.
Thirty years ago the ADA was signed into law, and “Under Title III, no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation.” – Wikipedia
In 2010 the Department of Justice published standards for accessible design, stating that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. So just like your store has accessibility features like ramps and restrooms, your website needs to have features to make it accessible to those with disabilities.
The Chicago-based law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP did an analysis of the number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal court during the first half of 2019 and found that the number increased by 12% over 2018. And although the outcome of these lawsuits fails to paint a clear picture of how exposed private businesses are to litigation, there are some things that companies can do to make their website accessible to those with disabilities.
In order to protect your business here are some common items you need to ensure that your website is ADA complaint:
We realize that these action items are far easier said than done. In fact, we know that because we have done it. Click the wheelchair icon near the bottom left corner of this website to see how R&A protects itself and offers accessibility to the public. Additionally, every business who has signed up for R&A Engage is in the process of receiving the same feature on their website. We believe that small businesses need to ensure compliance ASAP so they don’t remain vulnerable as the number of lawsuits climbs higher and higher.
It’s time to deliver a better customer experience.
Complying with the ADA is not just about avoiding lawsuits. These laws are in place because millions of Americans are affected by impairments and disabilities. Many of your customers may have difficulty interacting with your website because they cannot read the text or have difficulty viewing the images. By making your website compliant with the ADA, you are opening up your digital presence to more people. And as we know, your website is often the first interaction a new customer has with your business. If you show that you take the time to improve their user experience before they even visit your store, you are proving that you go above and beyond to create satisfied customers.
The R&A Engage web accessibility technology uses artificial intelligence or machine learning to offer over 50 features so users can tailor their website experience to their needs. It is WCAG 2.1 Certified, ADA Title 3 Certified, Section 508 Certified, and EN 301549 Certified. Not only is this type of software important for protecting your business, it is the right thing to do to ensure that your customers can communicate with your digital platforms.
Are you ready to protect your own website and engage more customers?