Why Website ADA Compliance and WCAG Accessibility?
The web is an increasingly important resource in multiple aspects of everyday life: education, employment, government, healthcare, recreation, and especially commerce. Why is it important to strive for website ADA compliance?
The very definition of web accessibility means making digital experiences available to everyone—of all abilities and disabilities and increasing your digital reach.
Here are some compelling reasons to get your website accessible:
1. 20% (or more!) of your users have a disability
When thinking of web accessibility and website ADA compliance, you need to consider impairments that impact accessibility of online websites, applications, and documents. The ADA broke it down like this:
- 19.9 million have difficulty lifting or grasping – this could impact their use of a mouse or keyboard.
- 15.2 million have a cognitive, mental, or emotional impairment.
- 8.1 million have a vision impairment – these users might reply on a screen magnifier or a screen reader, or might have a form of color blindness.
- 7.6 million have a hearing impairment – they might reply on transcripts and/or captions for audio and video media.
If your website is inaccessible, you are potentially excluding 20% of the population from the conversation on your site. This percentage is only going to grow. Between being accessible for your visitors now and thinking about your future audience, implementing web accessibility initiatives definitely should be a priority!
2. Strict Legislation is Coming
Accessibility-related legislation is on the rise throughout the world. In fact, 23% of web accessibility-related litigation and settlements since 2000 happened in the last three years. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation and government web accessibility initiatives are increasingly important and becoming more stringent. Better to be safe than sorry. Website ADA compliance is the right thing to do for all website visitors.
3. Increase in lawsuits under current laws
What is trending you ask? ADA website accessibility lawsuits, that’s what. Since mid-2016, over 240 lawsuits, most of them class actions, have been filed against companies, principally in the retail, hospitality, and financial services industries, alleging violations of the ADA for failure to maintain websites that are accessible to the blind and visually impaired. This trend is continuing into 2017. The steady shift in our economy from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online commerce has brought increased attention to website accessibility. Given the increasing number of website accessibility suits, companies that maintain a web presence must understand the requirements of the ADA and ensure their websites are ADA compliant.
4. Web Accessibility Means Doing the Right Thing
The web is not a barrier to people with disabilities, it is the solution. The web has the potential to revolutionize the day-to-day lives of millions of people with disabilities by increasing their ability to independently access information and other aspects for life that most people take for granted. By making your website accessible you can attract and retain customers, improve the usability for ALL users coming to your website, but more importantly, you can help others! Making your site accessible is just the right thing to do. Period.
The bottom line, websites need to be just as accessible as ATMs, elevators, terminals, and other user interfaces.
To get started on your web accessibility initiative, contact us NOW for a 15-minute consultation.