Did you know that your website could be putting your company at risk of being sued? The scary thing is that there are unsavory types out there looking for websites that violate one or more ADA standards. Making sure that you have an ADA compliant website is not particularly difficult to do. But if you don’t do it, or don’t do it right, you are putting your company at risk.
In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to do to make your website ADA compliant and how doing so can help your business!
What does it mean to have an ADA compliant website?
If you have a website, it is critical that it is ADA compliant. But what does that mean, exactly?
The Americans with Disabilities Act was put into place in 1990 to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else. Many business owners are aware of ADA compliance as it impacts your buildings and facilities.
We take for granted that buildings need to be wheelchair accessible, have handicapped parking, handicapped bathroom stalls, and other accommodations for people with disabilities. But the ADA also includes the requirement to provide access to websites and other digital content.
There are three main ways that your website must be ADA compliant:
- Your website must be accessible to people with disabilities
- Your website must be navigable by people with disabilities
- Your website must be usable by people with disabilities
In order to make sure that your website meets these standards, there are a few things you’ll need to do.
1. MAKING YOUR WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE
First, you need to make sure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities. This means that people with disabilities should be able to access and use all of the same features as everyone else.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Use simple, easy-to-understand language
- Make sure all images and videos have accompanying text
- Use clear headings and labels
- Make sure that all forms are accessible
2. MAKING YOUR WEBSITE NAVIGABLE
Next, you need to make sure your website is navigable by people with disabilities. This means that people should be able to easily find what they’re looking for on your website.
You can do this by using clear and concise navigation labels, as well as making sure that your website has a search function.
3. MAKING YOUR WEBSITE USABLE
Last, you need to make sure that your website is usable by people with disabilities. This means that people should be able to use all of the features on your website without difficulty.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Use clear and concise instructions
- Use easy to navigate menus
- Make sure all buttons and links are accessible
- Enable keyboard shortcuts
By following these simple tips, you can make your website ADA compliant and help protect yourself from being sued.
But how can you be confident that you are fully compliant?
At the end of the day, knowing you are fully compliant can be tricky, at best. Predatory scammers work with attorneys who are skilled at finding obscure violations and will initiate lawsuits whenever they see an infraction.
Though you may be confident that you meet compliance standards today, will you know if new features of functionality will pass ADA muster down the road?
How do scammers sue businesses for website ADA violations?
If it feels like a hostage negotiation, it sort of is. But it is completely legal.
Not all ADA lawsuits are performed by scammers. Some are initiated by disability activists trying to improve conditions for people with physical limitations.
There are a few ways that activists and scammers can sue businesses for website ADA violations.
First, activists may find an infraction on the website and then contact the business owner to try and get them to fix it. If the business doesn’t comply, they will threaten to sue.
Second, a scammer or activist may find an attorney who is willing to help them sue the business without contacting you to notify you of the infraction. This attorney will look for any and all violations on the website and then file a lawsuit.
Third, a scammer may pose as a disabled person and try to access the website. If they are unable to do so, they will file a complaint or lawsuit against the business.
Managed ADA Compliance – The Simple Solution For Business
There is a solution for businesses – from small businesses to large enterprises with complex websites.
That solution is a Managed ADA Compliance contract with a technology partner like Javelin. These contracts employ a 3rd-party compliance software company that continuously scans your website – flagging issues in real-time.
Once your website is scanned and infractions are corrected, your website will display a logo that signifies that your site has been certified to be in compliance with all ADA requirements.
Once certified, scammers will not be interested in going after you. That certification logo will scare off all sophisticated scammers and activists. They won’t waste their time going after you.
But keeping up with new compliance issues is imperative to maintain your compliance status. That’s where we come in – as new issues arise, we correct them for you right away.
But wait, there’s more!
One of the best benefits of a Managed ADA Compliance solution like you get from Javelin is that the 3rd Party partner that we use provides basic legal support in the unlikely event of a lawsuit. They will go to bat for you if your website is certified through them.
It’s Like Liability Insurance For Your Website
A Managed ADA Website Compliance solution from Javelin is the simplest and most cost-effective way to stay in compliance and certify against frivolous lawsuits. It’s such a big deal that we include it as a part of all of our premium hosting packages. And we’ll monitor and make updates to keep you in compliance while you’re under contract with us.
For more information on making your website ADA compliant, please contact us. We would be happy to get your site certified and give you peace of mind!