ADA Website Compliancy: Is my website compliant?

ADA Website Compliancy: Is my website compliant?

What is ADA Website Compliancy?

Few people haven’t heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and business owners understand the importance of having handicapped parking, wheelchair ramps and modified workspaces.  What they may not be aware of, is that they also need to take steps to ensure their website is ADA compliant.

We’ll explain.

Failing to have an ADA compliant website could cost you

In June of this year, a business owner in Tampa Bay reached out to Fox 12 news to inform the station that they were being sued because their website wasn’t friendly for hearing impaired or visually impaired users.

It’s much bigger problem than you think.

According to news reports, in 2018, more than 2,280 ADA website lawsuits were filed in federal courts throughout the US. That number reflects a 181% increase from levels recorded in 2017.

Many of these lawsuits have been filled in Florida.

The case in Clearwater, FL

News 10 reports Ben Tundis, owner of Island Comfort Footwear in Clearwater, FL, is among those who have been sued.  The plaintiff in his case is visually disabled Broward County Florida resident Emily Fueller. According to the complaint, Fueller’s disability prevents her from using a computer without the assistance of screen reading software.

“During the month of August, 2018, the plaintiff attempted on several occasions to use [the store’s] website to browse through merchandise and online orders, to educate herself as to the merchandise, sales, discounts and promotions being offered, with the intent of making a purchase,” the complaint states.

Since Island Comfort Footwear’s website couldn’t be accessed by Fueller’s screen reader, she wasn’t able to use it. This is what prompted the lawsuit.

A settlement offer between the parties was reached in late-March—and while most businesses who are sued in this type of lawsuit can’t be sued for damages, they can be ordered to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys fees.

Depending on how long a lawsuit drags out, small business owners could find themselves on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars.

Am I compliant?

If you’re concerned your website may not be ADA compliant, you’ll want to speak with an experienced website designer right away. Although there aren’t clear regulations about website ADA compliance, courts have often turned to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) for guidance.

For more information on website ADA compliance and what you need to do to bring your website into compliance, call WBN Marketing today to learn more.