In 1990, the federal government passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. A landmark act that protected people who require physical accommodations. Popular examples of this would be adding elevators and ramps that are wheelchair accessible. It also prevents discrimination.
Which brings us to websites. Due to a recent Supreme Court decision, ADA compliance has extended to websites now. Although not physical in the sense of elevators and ramps, but rather physical in the sense that people with different disabilities may not be able to use your website. This is due to the fact that many websites are not using the appropriate colors, fonts and file types. Hard-to-distinguish colors and fonts are being used without taking into consideration those who have these visual impairments. And these sites might be using certain file types that do not allow screen readers to read text out loud.
The ADA regulations do not explicitly mention websites, but the U.S. Department of Justice has frequently cited recommendations to improve ADA accessibility. And this recommendation has led to court rulings that commercial websites are bound by ADA regulations. In a nutshell, the ADA calls for auxiliary aids in communication. All that essentially means is that websites should have online video captioning and website accessibility.
Back in 2017, there was a landmark first-of-its-kind case that ruled against Winn-Dixie. This case determined that the company failed to make its website accessible to people with low or impaired vision. And this opened the floodgates. Because in 2018 there were around 1,000 lawsuits against websites that were related to the accessibility of the website. E-commerce stores, restaurants, and consumer goods companies were the most drastically affected. And giant corporations like Hershey’s, Burger King and Nike were not immune to lawsuits, either.
So, if you have a website, you might not be ADA compliant and at risk of lawsuits. It is essential that companies comply with ADA standards. Otherwise, they leave themselves at risk of costly litigation and some negative press. You can read more about ADA compliance and what it means on their website.
You can also reach out to the web experts at MSEDP. We have become familiar with this issue and offer ADA compliance services to those in need. For more information about ADA compliance and what you need to do, please contact us today. When you reach out. one of our account managers will provide you with all the necessary details.