Sep 1, 2023
Small businesses already have many challenges to deal with, and adding another concern to the pile is not ideal. A big issue that might not be common knowledge is ADA website compliance litigation. Small business owners across the country, especially in California, Florida, and New York, have seen a huge influx of ADA website litigations.
ADA website compliance litigations are commonly seen happening to large companies, but they’ve been increasingly affecting small businesses lately. Large businesses can usually take care of these litigations without issue, but small businesses aren’t so fortunate. ADA website litigations have increased by 320% since 2013, with many of those lawsuits targeting small businesses.
What is ADA Website Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public areas. This guidance describes how governments and businesses open to the public can make sure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities as required by the ADA. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to legal issues, including costly lawsuits and penalties.
ADA compliant websites ensure that all users, regardless of their disabilities, can access and interact with a website. Everybody should have equal access and the web content should be accessible. It promotes a more inclusive online environment and allows users to access the websites they need. Think about it like a store; people should be able to access stores and websites without any issues.
When a website is ADA compliant, it is designed so that people with different types of disabilities can use it with assistive technology. Examples of compliance include text that can be read by screen readers, images with alt text tags configured to describe the image to people with visual impairments, and videos with captions. In addition, certain color combinations and contrasts are considered non-compliant.
What’s Happening to Small Businesses?
As we’ve already talked about, ADA website compliance litigations have been increasing and have been hitting small businesses hard. Most small businesses cannot handle the financial burden of compliance litigations, and because of this, they are forced to shut down.
If a business is small, they might not even know that they’re not ADA compliant, and they might not have the staff to make their website ADA compliant.
Why is an ADA Compliant Website Important?
Making your website accessible and usable by everybody is the most important reason to have an ADA compliant website. With that being said, there are countless other reasons why it’s important:
Avoiding Legal Action
We’ve already talked about it in great length, but having a compliant website means you can avoid litigation. The ADA requires that, as a public business, your website is reasonably accessible to all individuals regardless of their disability status. If your small business is sued, you might rack up countless expenses trying to resolve the issue.
Increase Website Traffic
Google prefers websites that are ADA compliant. If you’re not ADA compliant, then users might have difficulty finding your website. Your website traffic will also increase if you have a user-friendly website. If users visit your site and have a difficult time, they will likely avoid it in the future.
Keep Your Customer Base
If you have an inaccessible or unusable website, you will lose potential or existing customers. Whether it’s a user with a disability or even just an older individual who has trouble seeing, you want your website to be easy to use for everybody. Don’t miss out on sales because your website isn’t compliant.
Our Team Can Help
No matter what your small business needs help with, our IT consulting services can help you out. By saving time and money with outsourced IT management, your team can focus more on making your web content accessible to make sure you avoid any future litigations.