Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 1998 and was updated in 2017 required all electronic and information technology to be accessible to all people. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design that mandated all websites, be accessible to those with disabilities.
Maintaining an ADA-compliant website could help protect your business against lawsuits and fines while providing necessary accommodations for potential customers. Web content that is accessible to blind users, deaf users, and those who must navigate by voice, screen readers, or other assistive technologies opens your business up to more customers.
Not only can businesses make their websites more accessible but an Accessibility app can help ensure that their business meets the needs of all their consumers across all platforms. Here are some additional benefits to making your website ADA Compliant:
The L.A. Times reported in 2018 that over 20% of ADA lawsuits filed in the first 6 months of 2018 were regarding website noncompliance. E-commerce businesses, hotels, consumer goods companies, singer-songwriters, and major corporations such as Domino’s Pizza, Nike, Burger King, and Hershey's, were affected by these lawsuits.
There is a safe harbor clause that allows your existing content to remain as it is unless altered after January 18, 2018, however, the guidelines apply to any page that has been updated since then. To avoid the legal costs of being found non-compliant with the ADA, it may be best to make the necessary changes to your website now.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased our reliance on the internet, therefore, the need for website accessibility is now urgent. It doesn’t matter if your business is online or a local brick-and-mortar storefront, customers will want to do business with companies demonstrating that they care.
Organizations that embrace this change as an opportunity to both establish and fuel a better digital experience for consumers with disabilities are more likely to see their websites prioritized in search rankings and they could also experience higher market share gains.
Incremental changes over time can benefit your consumers and for your organization. Running an inclusive business that looks for opportunities to grow could endear you with your consumers. Just providing alt-tags for your images could be a positive step toward ADA compliance.
Websites that aren’t ADA compliant miss out on millions of potential customers. There are nearly 61 million people with disabilities in the U.S. and many of them might arrive at your website and won't be able to navigate it enough to make a purchase or make an inquiry because your website is only accessible to people without disabilities.
Not only will they not purchase your products, but they may purchase from a competitor or tell others that they weren’t able to access it. If your videos don’t have captions, then people who are hard of hearing will not have access to your content. It’s equally important that your website is accessible without a mouse so that people with physical limitations can use it as well. \
When your website meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it could improve its SEO ranking because of increased accessibility to search crawlers. Your WCAG compliant website could improve its appeal to users, search engines, and screen readers through the proper usage of meta-tagging, alternative image text, and video transcripts
WCAG compliant sites are generally more operable and navigable websites. Small changes, with your users in mind, can make your web pages easier to follow while allowing everyone to find the information they need. If you decide to follow the guidelines, your website could convert more leads, increase brand recognition and trust.