WCAG Compliance and 508 Compliance
If you’re familiar with the American Disabilities ACT (ADA), you know that it’s been a highly effective civil rights law creating safe spaces and prohibiting discrimination in workplaces, public entities, public accommodations, and more.
As the world has gone digital and the internet has become a commodity the law has spread to include the digital world – now litigation over the ADA’s application to websites is beginning to arise. If you’re not taking steps to make your website ADA compliant, you’re already behind and are opening your business up to a potential lawsuit.
The Domino’s Case
Last year, more than 2,200 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in federal courts, according to the website UsableNet – and that number is nearly 3x the year before. Most of those wound up in settlements, but one of those lawsuits, filed against fan-favorite pizza parlor Domino’s has hit home.
On October 7th, 2019, the Supreme Court denied certiorari to hear the case deciding if Domino’s should be mandated to make their online ordering system accessible to the disabled. This effectively left the decision in place by a lower level court that favored blind plaintiff Guillermo Robles, and opened the floodgates for similar litigation.
How Can I Become ADA Compliant?
We agree that websites need to become more compliant and accessible to those with disabilities. When researching options for our sites, we found many options in the $10,000+ range and other plugins that simply do not maintain ongoing requirements and necessary testing. Our team consists of 2 in-house attorneys and in working with them, we’ve identified 4 steps anyone can take to make their website more compliant – all while saving thousands in potential development costs.
4 Essential Steps To Becoming More ADA Compliant
- Don’t Just Use A Plugin
In theory, a software plug-in should be able to provide some necessary protection on the issue. But, the reality is much different. Software can miss updates, not provide accurate results, and not test pages for actual accessibility. It’s a fine starting point but works best in conjunction with human effort and strategic development.
- Manual Audits Are Required
We recommend performing a site audit every month. At Matador, we have a team that includes those with visual and hearing disabilities testing our sites for usability every month. This provides accurate, real-time information on how we can improve our sites. We then match it to the most recent updates to the law and proceed accordingly.
- Stay On Top Of The Law
With an increasing number of lawsuits being filed and more decisions coming down from courts, it can be impossible to know what is required to maintain and improve a website’s usability without constantly monitoring the law.
- Make Development Fixes
Most firms charge upwards of $10,000 to create new ADA compliant websites.
By blending a mixture of plugins, manual audits, and other protections, we’ve created a solution that provides significant protection for less. We identify the largest issues on websites and simply pass-through the costs of development, saving up to 9-% against competitors.
After implementing our plan for making your site more accessible and creating a strategy for ongoing maintenance, we’ll provide you with an affidavit of the steps you are taking in order to have a defense ready to go should any litigation arise. Furthermore, if someone does file a suit against your site, we’ll cover the first $1,000 of litigation costs. If you know someone facing ADA compliance issues, or your site is not compliant yet, reach out to us for a free evaluation today.