Many are confused about the relationship of ADA (American with Disabilities Act) standards with websites. It is mainly because this law does not directly address web or mobile accessibility. But on numerous occasions, the Department of Justice has repeatedly mentioned that ADA compliance encompasses access to websites that provide public accommodations, services, and other functions currently covered by ADA.
But because ADA does not particularly indicate online compliance under the law, the courts are usually the ones to determine how websites should apply ADA standards.
Learn more about the relationship between website and ADA compliance below:
ADA compliance for websites defined
The ADA together with the Department of Justice make no specific recommendations for how businesses should assure accessibility or refer to any existing definitions. On the other hand, organizations mentioned in the said law should be ADA compliant. They should provide equal access to whatever services, information, and resources are available through their web domains. But, how they do so is up to them.
Also, making the site accessible might often be viewed as the simplest option to ensure equal access. But, an organization could, for example, choose to provide disabled persons with 24/7 phone help.
Actions to take to ensure ADA compliance
Below are some of the things you should do to ensure that your website is ADA-compliant.
- Consult your legal counsel of your organization to ensure that you understand how the ADA relates to your organization.
- Examine the existing approach of your company to accessible accommodations in general, including ADA compliance.
- Get your web properties to take an accessibility audit.
- Allow your development teams to undergo digital accessibility training.
- Begin looking at tools and other options for incorporating accessibility into your development process.
What happens if my site doesn’t comply with the ADA?
You put your organization at risk of legal action if you leave your website inaccessible. Advocacy groups, individuals, and other organizations serving the views of people with disabilities are active in filing complaints against organizations and businesses that neglect to comply with ADA standards. In most cases, people who are denied access have the advantage. Losing such cases can cost an organization thousands of dollars, or worse, millions.
Additionally, ADA has no specific compliance deadlines. So, you have the chance to face a complaint at any time. Fortunately, your organization could lessen the consequences if you show the complaint that the accessibility of your website is actively being improved.
Why is it good for a website to be ADA compliant?
An ADA-compliant website can serve a wider audience. Besides, users with limited physical and mental capabilities find accessing information difficult when using sites that do not provide accessibility features. It also increases a website’s search presence as search engines discover audiovisual files with transcripts.
Ultimately, being ADA compliant reduces legal risk. Organizations that fail to comply with the said standard often face costly violations. So, ensure that your organization or company complies with ADA standards, including your websites.