US 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
How Do Disabled People Access Your Website?
You need to have written descriptions and captions for audible elements contained on your site (Video and Audio files).
Your website needs to incorporate coded elements capable of being read audibly by screen reader software.
Your site must include mouse-free navigation and be compatible with keyboard only use.
Does My Website Have To Be ADA WCAG 2.0 Compliant?
YES! All wesbites must be compliant with ADA Regulations
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in places of public accommodation. In 2010, the Department of Justice, which enforces the ADA, issued a notice stating it would amend the language of the ADA to ensure accessibility to websites for individuals with disabilities. As a result of this notice there has been a proliferation of demand letters from plaintiffs’ lawyers threatening to sue businesses for having non compliant websites.
Who Mandates ADA WCAG 2.0 Website Compliance?
Administered by the US Department of Justice, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates by federal law that your website is compliant for use by disabled persons. This includes giving vision, hearing and physically impaired individuals the ability to navigate and interact with your website.
By making your website ADA compliant, you will make it accessible to more than 57 million disabled US residents while minimizing the possibility of legal action against your business.
Are Companies Being Sued For Non-Compliance?
Winn Dixie On June 13, 2017 a Florida federal judge issued the first web accessibility trial verdict against grocer Winn Dixie for having a website that could not be used by the blind plaintiff.
Hobby Lobby On June 15, 2017 a California federal judge held that a blind plaintiff’s website accessibility lawsuit against retailer Hobby Lobby could proceed to discovery.
Five Guys’ federal judges in New York have denied restaurant Five Guys’ motion to dismiss
Blick’s a federal judge denied motions to dismiss lawsuit alleging that the defendants’ inaccessible websites violate the ADA and New York State and City civil rights laws.
Who Enforces The American Disabilities Act ?
The Americans with Disabilities Act already requires that web and mobile content, features and functions be accessible. The Department of Justice continues to file complaints and get involved in court actions confirming that digital access is required, and that WCAG 2.0 AA is the standard.
Private sector settlements and lawsuits continue to protect the rights of people with disabilities to fully participate in the digital age. Website owners should not delay in making their digital properties accessible.
How Often Is Compliance Monitored?
ADA / WCAG 2.0 website accessibility compliance must be continually maintained. The Department of Justice is reviewing current regulations and updated to Title III. A Site’s compliance can be affected by changes to existing regulations, modifications and additions to the site structure, navigation and content.
The burden of compliance ultimately rests with the site owner.
What Are The Benefits Of A Compliant Site?
The primary benefit of having an ADA compliant site is that millions of disabled people will be able to access your site and its content in a manner consistent with federal regulations.
Avoiding costly litigation from the growing number of predatory law firms filing lawsuits based upon sites they find to be non-compliant. With four and five figure retainers alone, compliance often saves business owners time and money.
Does Being Compliant Save Me Money?
The simple answer is yes! A single law suit will require you to retain an attorney who specializes in ADA / WCAG 2.0 website accessibility compliance defense. In all likelihood your general business attorney won’t possess the knowledge to guide your defense. Four and five figure retainers are the norm. And that just the retainer.
Consultations, court costs and fines add up quickly and that doesn’t take a settlement into consideration.
It’s time to be proactive. The funds you allocate to make sure your site is compliant will offset much higher costs should legal action be taken against your business.
Accessibility suits are not only commonplace, they are steadily on the rise. Plantiff’s have won highly publicized lawsuits in recent years. The damages and legal fees can be crippling to an asset based business like a self storage facility.
Is My Web Designer Compliance Expert?
In all likelihood, no. Less than 1% of all websites are ADA /WCAG 2.0 compliant. So it’s very unlikely your web designer built your site in a compliant manner. If your site was built using a content management system (CMS) such as wordpress or drupal, the odds are your site is non-compliant.
Bringing your site to compliance requires modifying the code to incorporate compliant elements. Before any web designer can fix the code, they need to know precisely what need fixing.
That’s what our service is all about . . .
We provide a detailed site audit to identify the problems, a work scope which outlines exactly what needs to be fixed and a test environment for your web designer to gauge his or her progress along with a procurement document for each of your site’s contributory and third party content or applications (which all require compliance).
Global Airline Audit by Sitemorse
Our results show that very few websites achieve the most recognised global standard, WCAG 2.0 A / AA compliance. The complexity of the standard has made it both difficult to adhere to and enforce. As most sites are not close to adherence, we consider the introduction of accessibility priorities to be the first pragmatic step. It helps create an initial level of compliance, one that improves online experience and reduces your compliance risk.
Our 3 Step Process To Help You Become Compliant
At Sitemorse we’re committed to helping you mitigate your ADA / WCAG 2.0 website compliance issues
Step 1: Audit & Workscope
A detailed report identifying compliant and non compliant elements of your website on a page by page basis along with a decription of precisely what needs to be fixed …send this report to your web developer
Step 2: Progress Reporting
A reporting tool for your web development team to test their ongoing efforts to fix non compliant elements and bring the site to compliance
Step 3: Compliance Badge & Monthly Monitoring
Once your developer begins their compliance work, we’ll provide a complance badge for your site that shows your real time compliance status awith a link back to your listing on our compliance directory