About ADA Website Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity to people with disabilities.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports based on the most recent census information that approximately 8.1 million people in this country are visually impaired, including two million who are blind.
Approximately 7.6 million people have hearing difficulties, with 5.6 million using hearing aids, including 1.1 million whose difficulty was severe. One research report indicates that, worldwide, people with disabilities (“PWD”), along with their family, friends, and caregivers who have emotional connections to PWD, represent a huge segment of the market, with 2.42 billion consumers and employees with over $6.9 trillion dollars in disposable income annually.
Thousands of U.S. organizations are not providing an accessible web experience to people with disabilities such as deafness and blindness. ADA website noncompliance and inaccessibility lawsuits assert that folks with disabilities are being denied access to goods and services because of inaccessible websites.
The cost of ADA website compliance at the front end is always exponentially less expensive than addressing issues after a Plaintiff’s lawyer has a target in their sights. The profits to be gained by making all portions of a website available to disabled individuals can easily offset, if not significantly outweigh, the costs associated with bringing the website into compliance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act has made it clear that businesses have an increasing responsibility to develop websites that allow those who have visual impairments or are hearing impaired have awesome web experience.
Being sued for hosting a website that’s not accessible to Americans with disabilities is no longer a remote threat from overzealous lawyers—it’s a clear and present threat for anyone who owns or operates a business website that markets goods or services.
With all of the money at stake in ADA website compliance litigation (from legal fees, court-ordered cures, settlements, and verdicts), businesses should bring their websites up to WCAG 2.0 compliance standards.
Websites that service places of public accommodation are required to make their websites accessible to visually impaired persons.