Americans with a disability must be able to engage with your website in the same way as the hearing or vision impaired.
- 5 ADA Compliant Website Tips Business Owners Need To Know
- Accessibility Advocates Sign Open Letter Urging People Not To Use AccesiBe and Other Overlay Products
- Accessibility Overlays May Not Make Your Site More Accessible
- Business owners in Denver hit with unexpected ADA lawsuits from out-of-state firm
- Lawsuits Looming for Online Wine Retailers
- Accessibility Video Resources
THE ADA SHAKEDOWN ON SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS
What’s happening and what do you need to be aware of:
Your website is a “physical building” on the web; therefore, it must comply with ADA standards! “What you mean like toilets and handrails?” Exactly! Only on the WWW to Americans with disabilities they have to be able to “participate” on your website like a seeing or hearing person.
And Yes, the Plaintiff attorneys are out there filing lawsuits, handing out demand letters to small business’ like free candy, only there’s nothing sweet about it. You can’t win, so don’t try. It will cost you more to fight than take a settlement. Home Depot settled, Win-Dixie settled, Nike settled and many more, what chance do you have? None. Let’s get the scoop…
There were Four Categories of business’ that were targeted the most last year, in order:
2. Food service,
3. Travel and Hospitality,
4. Entertainment and Leisure….
Let me explain; you’re minding your own business and suddenly a guy shows up at your business with a demand letter. That’s “game-over.” Unless you live in California or Arizona, where they have to give you “time to comply.” Anywhere else, there is no mandatory “time to comply.” So, you want to settle, that’s the only way you save on your pocketbook. In the settlements, usually there might be an offer of “time to comply” along with paying attorney’s fees.
Where did this all begin?
It began in 2016, when 262 ADA lawsuits were filed against non-compliant businesses.
In 2019, that number had risen to 2,235. By 2020, that number had reached nearly 3,500.
From June through September of 2020, there were roughly 310 ADA lawsuits filed each month.
A whopping 90% of digital accessibility cases are settled in favor of Plaintiffs, and many more are settled confidentially over the course of days.
And here’s the hard part, only 2 states out of the 50 have remediation periods, aka: time to fix. Your only hope is to get a settlement with a time period to fix your site.
In addition, we noticed that widgets and overlays have become what are known as “quick fixes.” Leading court-certified, live-user auditing companies found these overlays would not improve your accessibility and could even make your site worse. In conclusion, overlays cannot protect you from lawsuits.
In fact, some plaintiffs are using screenshots of these products as evidence in their lawsuits. History shows that hundreds of companies that had an overlay tool on their websites were sued in 2020. It’s not hard to believe that Plaintiffs specifically target these companies.”
Bottom line, if your site has a widget or overlay, get it off ASAP!
Next, create an accessibility statement that clarifies your goal of becoming accessible; add an email address and a phone number properly labeled so that users with assistive technology are able to get help while your product is being improved.
Here are some Tips to get you started:
- Fix the basics. The most frequent website complaints to the ADA typically include the following: missing alt text, page titles, and labels, empty links, and redundant links.
- Avoid widgets.
- Test your website with people with disabilities.
- Make long-term maintenance essential.
If your webmaster does not have the tools or knowledge to help you, we here at
Rescue My Business are fully trained in Mobile-First and ADA Accessibility.
You can keep your webmaster, we’ll just come in on the backend and make the necessary changes to keep you ADA Accessible. The bonus is your site will also be Mobile-First!
Yes Googles new Mobile-First requirement and ADA Accessibility go hand in hand. So not only will you not be a target for a lawsuit, but you will continue to rank on Google because you are Mobile-First.
Don’t be fooled by these black-hat sellers for the “quick fix widgets,” they’re cheap and they’ll happily take your money, but they’ll set you up for a lawsuit, and get you banned from Google altogether! So you paid a little for the widget and in the end, paid a lot for the lawsuit, and you still have to fix your site.
So let’s all remember these two things;
- Proper SEO will set you up for Mobile-First.
- Proper ADA Accessibility is done by hand and follows Mobile-First guidelines.
Accessibility Video Resources
Review: Does ADA Comply Overlay Make Your Website Accessible / ADA Compliant? (GetADAComply.com)
Kris Rivenburgh: How People Waste Money on ADA Website Compliance and Accessibility Services
Kris Rivenburgh: ADA (Website) Compliance is Required for Entities with Less Than 15 Employees
Optimize your website for ADA
We are ready and eager to help you get started. Please feel free to contact us.