The ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, is now thirty years old. It was passed in the 1990s to help users with disabilities and provide accommodations in public spaces. This also applies to online spaces, which count as public; the web content accessibility guidelines provide the details and tiers. When it comes to ADA compliance online in 2020, every website owner needs to stay up to date with the latest website accessibility laws.
If websites do not comply with the ADA then they risk facing lawsuits. Some of the plaintiffs have legitimate concerns, that they cannot access the websites. As a result, the users cannot research a product or service, make a purchase, or otherwise interact with the various interfaces. In other cases, however, plaintiffs are looking to make money quickly. The law tends to favor them more than the defendant, owing to the grey areas in the law.
What’s more, the grey area is not likely to vanish soon. Currently, the US Department of Justice has refused to step in and clarify the cases in favor of business owners. Thus, it’s up to the owners and managers to improve their website ADA compliance before a judge is obligated to rule against them during a lawsuit. With the rules changing, you need to be more aware than ever.
State and international laws may apply to your website. The European Union passed the European Accessibility Act in 2019, which standardizes the rules across the countries that engage in cross-trading. Implementation of accessibility will take several years, with the legislators need to pass necessary laws and regulations by the year 2022.
What does this mean for you? If you have European clients, or even if you don’t, you need to stay up-to-date on the directives and missives being implemented and changed. You reach a larger customer base in this fashion.
California laws may now apply to businesses out of state. The lawsuit Thurston v. Fairfield Collectables of Georgia could change how state laws are applied to other businesses. Plaintiff Thurston alleges that Fairfield needs to match California’s guidelines, which are abiding by WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and Success Criteria.
According to the official California Department of Education website, the WCAG guidelines outline the requirements for a website to be robust, operable, perceivable, and understandable. What’s more, all websites after July 2019 need to post a certificate on their website showing that they have incorporated accessibility. From emergency notifications to educational material, most business owners need to comply.
The exceptions include content that abided by the state CDE compliance before 2018 and has not changed. All other websites need to file a request for an exception in paperwork, to see if it is an “undue burden”. They need to provide alternate means of reaching the same information.
SiteCompliance not only has experts that understand ADA regulations but also an automated tool that can test your eCommerce storefront. The ADA checker and testing tools were designed and developed to improve your website.
Reach out to us today to get started with the ADA checker and testing tool. You will be more than ready to face lawsuit trolls and plaintiffs that are in dire need of website accessibility.