ADA Compliance Lawsuits have increased recently. If you don’t know what it is, you’re not alone – most people don’t yet, but it will grow increasingly popular over the next several months.
Websites are required by law to adhere to all rules to make them accessible to people with impairments. And websites that do not comply with these standards (non-ADA compliant) are being sued at an alarming pace. In 2021, there were 4,055 ADA-related claims, a 15 percent increase over the 3,503 lawsuits filed in 2020. This equates to more than ten cases filed everyday in federal and state courts alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Recent research indicates that between 110 million and 190 million persons have major functioning difficulties. That is 19% of the population, or approximately 1 in 5 individuals. Consequently, you will hear more and more about ADA Compliance in the future.
Now is the time to make your website ADA-compliant and protect yourself from any litigation.
What Are the Consequences if Your Website Is Not ADA Compliant?
When ADA compliance rules are not followed, it is typically unintentional. However, this is irrelevant since if your website is not ADA-compliant, you face a costly lawsuit. Even if you mistakenly disregarded the recommendations set by the U.S. Department of Justice, if your website is inaccessible to everyone, you might find up paying thousands of dollars in litigation.
In addition to a lawsuit, the following consequences will result from your failure to comply with ADA compliance standards:
4 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of a Web Accessibility Lawsuit
1. Conform to WCAG 2.1 AA standards. If your digital assets adhere to WCAG 2.1 AA, you will significantly lower the risk of legal action related to digital accessibility. Even better, those with disabilities who visit your websites will feel welcome and be able to communicate with ease online.
2. If you are unclear of your WCAG compliance, assess the accessibility of your site. First, ensure that your website is accessible. Automated scanners can identify around 30% of WCAG success criteria. Engage a professional to do a thorough audit of your website. This audit will contain significant findings from an automated scan as well as the outcomes of a manual evaluation, including evaluations performed by individuals with disabilities. This testing will assist detect accessibility issues that cannot be discovered by automation alone (the remaining 70 percent of WCAG success criterial).
3. Address any identified obstacles. Prioritize the correction of the most serious errors on high-visibility pages. Start with failures on your homepage, other important pages, and primary user flows, for instance.
4. Create a plan for continuous monitoring, review, and correction. The content on the Internet is dynamic. Although you may one day comply with WCAG requirements, adding extra information may accidentally introduce new hurdles. Ensure you have the most capable partner to assist you regularly check your website’s accessibility and address any new problems that may arise.
All users should be able to access your content. In this section you’ll learn how to provide a robust experience to your users that accounts for their context and any situational, temporary, or permanent disabilities.
9 Tips for Achieving ADA Compliance and Create Healthy Designed Websites
1. Headings and Titles
- Ensure all content includes suitable headers.
- Title all pages so that they correspond to the page’s content
- Use common terms rather than technical terminology
2. Text and Font
Information cannot be understood by color alone. Instead use:
- Bold and italic text
- Use bulleted lists
- Modules or sections of your CMS
- Utilize a high-contrast color palette.
Avoid dense paragraphs of text
Since tables are for data and not page layouts, be sure to populate tables with a column header and cell information.
- Always incorporate (alt)text
- Pay attention to the descriptive details such as the non-image visual
- All visuals need alt text, not just photos, so be sure to add alt text with icons, buttons, banners, logos, sketches, etc.
- Any visual element that conveys a message should have alt text
If there is no words to identify the image, a screen reader cannot identify the image for a blind user. The user has no means of knowing if the picture is a logo, a link to another page, or a stock image.
Provide text alternatives for every non-text material so that it may be converted into other formats. Other examples include big print, braille, voice, symbols, and simplified language.
- Use contrasting colors to differentiate text from the background for colorblind users.
- Color cannot be the only means to convey information.
- Color contrast ratio: All text must have a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 against its background.
- Websites should be navigable using both the keyboard and their equivalents.
- Maintain information in a consistent location
- Recognize that if a user cannot locate something, he or she will think it does not exist.
- Consistency helps people locate information more quickly.
- Screen readers go from the top to the bottom of the display.
7. Don’t Use PDFs
Because they cannot be read by screen readers or text enlargement tools, image-based formats pose difficulties for the visually handicapped.
8. Enhance Your Multi-Media
Make images and video more accessible by adding audio descriptions to images, including the narration of changes in setting, gesturing, and other details. In addition, add text captions for the deaf.
9. Include “Skip Navigation” at the Top of Your Pages
People using screen readers can get directly to the content
Let’s break it down further into Level A and Level AA compliance to determine if your website currently meets the accessibility requirements.