Website accessibility is a great way to ensure 100% of your clients have access to the information and services you provide. It's also a law in the United States. The American Disabilities Act or ADA requires all private businesses to remove all "access barriers" that could impede a disabled person's access to their goods and services including the website of the business.
There have been hundreds of successful lawsuits against private businesses in recent years for violating ADA guidelines. For example, in 2017 a Florida Court ruled against Winn Dixie claiming that they have violated ADA guidelines and they were required to spend over $250,000 to fix the website and make it ADA-compliant. In 2018, a blind customer was able to sue Hooters restaurants and win the case. But the company was in the process of making their website more ADA friendly when this happened. That's why you need to build WCAG 2.1 ADA and Section 508 compliance into your business website without delay.
Web accessibility could be a complex and time-consuming process. Many customers may not know where to start when making their website ADA compliant. First, you need to identify the areas of your website that are not in compliance with the ADA rules and regulations. That's where you should let the experts at PERC perform a website audit. The website audit will identify the areas of your website that are not in compliance with the ADA rules and regulations. PERC's website audit will generate a report that shows what content needs to be changed or replaced to make your site ADA compliant. They will provide a list of changes that need to be made as well as an estimate for them to perform this work on behalf of you. On average, over 96% of the remediation work will be completed by PERC's AI plugin, the rest will be done by hand as required.
A More Accessible Digital Space
Your website may be inaccessible to millions of people in the United States alone. According to the CDC or Center for Disease Control:
- 1 in 5 persons are disabled in the US
- 8.1 million people are visually impaired
- 2.0 million people are blind
- 7.6 million people are auditory impaired
- 19.9 people are motor-impaired and cannot use a mouse
- 2.2 million people suffer from seizures & epilepsy
Your website isn't accessible to all these people and more if it doesn't comply with the ADA rules. That's why you need to make your website ADA compliant without delay.
What Is ADA Compliance?
ADA compliance is a set of rules and guidelines that a business owner should follow to allow people with disabilities to use their websites effectively. The American Disabilities Act or ADA was passed in 1990. The ADA makes it legally necessary for businesses to maintain access to their products and services for people with disabilities. It originally led to the creation of physical accessibility features such as braille signage for the blind, wheelchair ramps, and audible signals for the deaf and hard of hearing.
With the invention of the World Wide Web in 1995, new concerns about accessibility arose. The ADA put Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in place in 1999. The WCAG 2.0 was introduced in 2008 with 12 regulations under 4 levels of priorities: operable, perceivable, understandable, and robust. The WCAG 2.1 was introduced in 2018 according to the website Essential Accessibility. It included all of the rules in WCAG 2.0 and covered 17 new success criteria. These new sections intend to assist people with low vision, cognitive disabilities, and learning disabilities. It also meant to remove online barriers from mobile technology.
What Is Section 508?
In addition to WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 guidelines for private businesses, Section 508 will apply to all federally funded agencies and federal government departments. This section requires fair treatment for all people with disabilities. This section specifies that all electronic information and communication technology including electronic documents, apps, and websites should be fully accessible to all users. Section 508 was recently enhanced to include WCAG 2.0, Level A and AA.
Are You In Compliance With ADA, WCAG 2.1, And Section 508 Guidelines?
Whether you are a private business or a federal government agency with an online presence, you should comply with the latest ADA, WCAG 2.1, and Section 508 guidelines or risk fines and lawsuits. You may lose business without accessible online content. The best way to check your level of compliance is to work with a reputable and experienced provider such as PERC. PERC's comprehensive Accessibility Solutions can help you stay on top of all the ADA, WCAG 2.1, and Section 508 regulations and save money in the process.
Failure to comply with Section 508 of the Department of Justice's ADA Standards for Accessible Design can expose your business to hefty fines and lengthy lawsuits. Your business will earn a reputation for being unfriendly to the disabled as a result. If your site doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards, it could be fined up to $50,000 for a first violation and $100,000 for a second.
PERC Helps Make The Internet Accessible To All
Web accessibility will allow people with disabilities to effectively use websites. You can broaden your client base by at least 20% by including the percentage of people with disabilities. Since the Department of Justice (DOJ) affirmed that ADA applies to websites, you should protect your business from compliance lawsuits.
The expert team at PERC will audit your website and provide the list of changes that need to be made to your website to make it ADA compliant, as well as an estimate for them to perform this work for you. You will receive an accessible statement and certificate once the changes are made to the site. They will also install the PERC ADA Compliance™ Plugin. The plugin's AI will automatically update daily to keep you in compliance. The best thing about the process is it can be completed in as little as 48 hours.
On the other hand, if your business has already been served with a lawsuit, their attorney in Minneapolis who specializes in ADA litigation can help you. Just reach out.
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