Your website has to comply with the ADA, as well as Section 508. Otherwise, you risk facing lawsuits from users who have disabilities. In addition, you are missing out on potential customers by reducing accessibilities to them.
We will outline what these terms are, and how best to accommodate them using your website and apps. You want to make sure that you accommodate your potential consumers, and avoid any citations from the federal government.
The ADA is the American Disabilities Act, a federal law passed in the 1990s. It traditionally used to apply to brick and mortar facilities but has since been applied to websites, apps, and technologies. The Internet has changed the game regarding accommodation.
Most courts of law refer to the Web Content Access Guidelines (WCAG) for reference. The WCAG has three tiers: A, AA, AAA. A has basic-level compliance, while AAA has the most advanced. Most courts prefer that you have AA, the middle ground, on your website.
If your website doesn’t comply with the ADA, users with disabilities can sue you on grounds of violating the law and not accommodating them. More often than not, the court will side with the plaintiff in these cases rather than the defendant.
Section 508 is an addition of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, added in 1998. It exists in tandem with the ADA and other laws that mandate accommodation. It refers to accessible communication. This can be speaking, writing, or other forms of delivering information.
Section 508 requires that federal agencies provide accessible electronic and informational technology to people with disabilities. Currently, it applies to any business that serves the public as well as federal agencies due to the legal grey area. That means your business or your website.
We don’t advise that you wait for any laws or lawsuits to clear up the grey area regarding Section 508. For one, laws take years to pass and they may undergo multiple modifications. For another, you may be the target of a lawsuit. You don’t want to go bankrupt due to avoidable modifications to your website.
In short, you need to improve your communication. This mandate applies both to online and physical communication, in print or on a screen. Brick and mortar stores need to have braille text on hand, but you need so much more.
For visually impaired users, you may enable alternative texts and descriptions on images, or subtitles on video and audio, so that assistive technology can read them aloud. Subtitles also assist those who have hearing impairments so they can read any audio or video. So does closed-captioning.
Our goal is to help you learn more about ADA Compliance and to ensure that your website can pass the AA tier of WCAG. We have the tools you need to test your website and experts that can help you adjust your images and videos for the various tiers.
Reach out to us today. We can help you prevent lawsuits as soon as today. Let’s make this world more accessible for users!