The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 had a massive impact on many areas of life, ensuring accessibility of a variety of public spaces into numerous areas in which they may have been previously inaccessible.
Many court decisions have since ruled that this also applies to websites. Thankfully, a variety of tools have been developed in order to ensure that websites are accessible to everyone. This includes an ADA compliance website checker.
The actual legislation and numerous court decisions since have found that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires businesses and public spaces to take various efforts to ensure that people with any number of handicaps – including visual challenges, hearing difficulties, or mobility issues – can access those spaces.
The ADA was landmark legislation, and it dramatically increased the ability of people with various disabilities to access public spaces.
The legislation also created financial and logistical challenges for some businesses, which had to make major upgrades to a variety of infrastructure. That has also included websites: As public spaces, many types of websites should be ADA compliant.
To be clear, not all websites are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, various court rulings have issued conflicting rulings in this area. Some courts have found that all businesses must have websites that are ADA compliant, while other courts have found this to be the case only if a business has a certain number of employees or has a physical location.
While the specifics of a website have not been hammered down by the legislation and there is some confusion, there is more than enough grey area in the law to allow for a lawsuit to proceed against a business that doesn’t have an ADA-compliant website.
A Website Compliance Checker is an automated software that can check your website for potential compliance issues, using the latest standards set by WCAG, or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Depending on the strength of your compliance checker or the software package you purchased, you will be presented with a slew of information that will lay out exactly how your website can be updated and which facets of your website need to be updated.
As noted by the compliance experts at AudioEye, “Places of public accommodation, including websites and digital assets, must be accessible to persons of all abilities. A website that is not accessible increases the legal exposure to a potential accessibility lawsuit.”
Making sure that your website is ADA compliant can certainly help protect you from a lawsuit. However, more importantly: It’s the right thing to do, and it can help ensure that you have access to a critical demographic that may be interested in learning more about your business and paying you.