ADA Compliance for Your Website vs Paying Legal Fees

This sounds like an easy choice, yet many businesses are not taking simple and cost effective steps to make sure they have a website that is accessible to everyone.

Nuisance lawsuits concerning ADA website compliance are on the rise. Lawsuits filed in Florida rank #2 behind lawsuits filed in California.  The lawsuit trend is driven by law firms that seek settlements on behalf of their clients and the legal fees that are awarded. In 2014, there were just under 8,000 lawsuits filed in Federal court over ADA website compliance and we expect that number to exceed 15,000 by the end of 2019.

Below is a list of key points to consider when addressing your website compliance and accessibility:

  1. Step one is to care. Why wouldn’t you want everyone to have access to the content on your website? Your website is a vital marketing tool and information resource.  If you prevent anyone from accessing that information, you are blocking a potential customer and that is not good for your business.
  2. It is the law. If you do business or receive funding from the government, you are required by law to be compliant.
  3. If item 2 does not apply to your business, it does not prevent a nuisance lawsuit.
  4. In most cases, achieving and maintaining compliance is not expensive. Most modern websites are already close to compliant because modern design techniques address many of the compliance issues. That being said, every website we evaluate have some issues that need attention.
  5. Consider scheduling a website audit to determine what issues impact your website. An audit is a page by page analysis that compares your website with WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 Compliance. When the audit is complete, you will know what changes need to be made to have an ADA compliant website.
  6. Create a website ADA compliance policy. Once your website meets and/or exceeds WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 Compliance, you will want to keep it that way. A few hours of training for any employee or contract webmaster is the first step to maintaining compliance.

The money you spend to obtain compliance is minimal compared to the cost of legal fees. Don’t wait for the lawsuit to take action. If you would like more information or need help, call 904-998-1935 or email jlemire@elykinnovation.com.