And why you want to make sure your website is accessible & ADA compliant:
To Avoid Legal Consequences
A website may be inaccessible if there is information, content, or services provided on the website that is not accessible in a physical location. Or if the website is tied to a physical location so that those who can’t access the website are missing out.
In January 2019, Parkwood Entertainment was sued, claiming that Beyonce.com violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. This was by denying visually impaired users equal access to products and services offered on the site (read the Hollywood Reporter article). And in July 2019, Dominos petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the 9th Circuit decision that their website should be accessible to people who are blind (read the article on CNBC).
Big brands like these are more likely to be targets of such lawsuits than smaller businesses. Yet, it can be a risk for any business. So why risk the possibility of dealing with a legal issue? Ensuring your website is accessible to all visitors will also help expand your reach to potential customers.
To Help Your Website Visitors
According to a 2017 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: of adults 18 and over in the United States, 10.9% have vision trouble, and 15.5% have a physical functioning disability (source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/disability.htm). This means that there’s a large number of people that need assistance when going online. There’s a good chance that many of the visitors to your website need assistance. And some of those could be your ideal customers. You want to avoid losing customers because they can’t easily read or navigate through your website.
To Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
By following Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), your website will incorporate essential SEO best practices. Here is a summary of the features of an ADA-compliant website (complete guidelines here (complete guidelines here https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/):
The information must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- Text alternatives to all non-text content (i.e., descriptive text for videos and images).
- Easy for users to see the content, as related to:
- colors used, and color contrast
- size of text
The User interface and navigation must be operable.
- Content can be navigated using a keyboard.
- Users have enough time to read the content; anything with a time limit or automatically playing content can be adjusted or turned off.
Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- Text content is readable and understandable.
- Layout and organization of website is intuitive.
- Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
Content must be robust enough to interpret by various user agents, including assistive technologies.
- Both the content and code powering the website are kept up to date.
While Webb Weavers Consulting’s website meets Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, a handy accessibility tool has been added. This is to make sure visiting and navigating the website is easy as possible for everyone. When you click on the blue icon with the person in a wheelchair at the right of the screen a menu will open. This accessibility menu has options to change the way the website displays or how you can navigate the website.
Would you like to make sure your website is accessible for all visitors? Contact Debbie to schedule a call and see how Webb Weavers Consulting can help!