As businesses continue to expand their online presence, it has become increasingly important to ensure that their websites are accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. That’s where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play. The ADA requires businesses to make their goods and services accessible to individuals with disabilities, and this includes their websites.
To achieve ADA compliance, businesses must adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines provide a set of standards for making web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. The guidelines cover a broad range of issues, including color contrast, font size, navigation, and alternative text for images.
One of the most significant developments in ADA compliance for websites came in 2018 when the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a statement that websites are indeed covered under the ADA. This means that businesses must make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities, just as they would with their physical locations.
To ensure compliance, businesses may consider entering into an ADA agreement with a third-party vendor. An ADA agreement is a contract between a business and a vendor that specializes in web accessibility. These vendors can provide services such as auditing a website for accessibility issues, implementing the necessary changes, and providing ongoing maintenance to ensure continued compliance.
While an ADA agreement can be helpful, it’s essential to choose a reputable vendor. Some vendors have come under fire for offering misleading services or failing to provide adequate support. To avoid these issues, businesses should research potential vendors thoroughly, looking for companies with a proven track record of success and a commitment to ongoing support.
In summary, ADA compliance for websites is an essential consideration for businesses looking to expand their online presence. By adhering to the WCAG guidelines and entering into an ADA agreement with a reputable vendor, businesses can ensure that their websites are accessible to all individuals, no matter their disabilities. By doing so, businesses can improve their online reputation while also complying with federal regulations and avoiding potential legal issues.