As the Internet has become a revolutionary addition to mankind, innovation requires the qualities of responsibility and ethics. To be equally useful for every consumer and user, the Internet has become a fair playing field.
With these sets of points in mind, this concept is being executed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, which serves the purpose of regulating the accessibility of information on the Internet for every single person.
This act implies that anything displayed on the internet has to accommodate everyone, including people with disabilities.
Simply put, a website must be ADA compliant for any individual with a disability in order to avoid serious company lawsuits (and they happen way too often). Many companies in industries such as fashion, hardware, and even healthcare ironically, have faced lawsuits due to their noncompliance with the ADA.
Making an ADA compliant website, compared to popular belief, is not that difficult and extremely important. According to Digital Authority Partners, organizations need to make website accessibility their number one priority.
Some of the steps of making a website ADA compliant include reviewing the web content accessibility guidelines, auditing the website with specific tools, styles, and elements in order to have everything available for disabled people, and updating on compliance standards.
While making a website accessible is quite simple, its importance is immense and widespread in multiple departments.
Here are the 5 things you should know about ADA Compliance
1. Cost-effective and Moral
The significance behind making a website accessible to every single individual breaks down to morals and overall cost-effectiveness for the company.
Not having an ADA compliant website basically excludes an entire group of people, as well as breaks an important law that can result in a company losing plenty of money.
Not only does the company benefit from including as many people as possible to their technological platform, but also having a non-ADA compliant website is simply unethical.
Excluding a specific group of people can cause a series of problems for the company, both morally and monetarily.
Specifically, healthcare websites are at risk, as their mission is to support any person in a medical capacity and it is pointless if their websites are not inclusive of for the disabled.
Having a website following the guidelines of ADA also saves plenty of money by avoiding the risk of a lawsuit.
An ADA compliance website offense can be quite expensive. It is easier to just take a few steps to make a website follow the ADA compliance rules.
2. Losing Business
Not many people realize how much of the United States population is actually disabled.
Firstly, people with disabilities are the largest minority in the United States. There are 25 million people with visual impairment in America alone. In addition, 1 in 8 people in the United States of America has a hearing impairment, which amounts to approximately 30 million people.
Between these two prominent disabilities, 55 million people are affected, amounting to about 17% of the American population.
With that massive number, companies are losing out on a large pool of people by simply not having an ADA compliant website.
A website inaccessible to even the minority can stunt the growth of the business, and luckily, making a technological platform ADA compliant is not that difficult and absolutely worth the time.
3. Potential Loss of Funding
Not having an ADA compliant website can risk a company losing federal and local funding along with any other assistance stated within their contracts.
A business can deeply rely on the government’s funds and help for the company’s growth and revenue. With the organization breaking the law by not having their website
up to date for the compliance standards, the business is at risk of losing it all.
Government agencies are tied to the law, including the rules listed in ADA, and ultimately the connection between the federal organizations and a new company will break without website compliance for the disabled population.
Strict warnings, or even more permanent decisions, can come a company’s way from the federal and local government’s aid if its website is not ADA compliant.
4. It’s the Law!
Whether it is liked or not, ADA compliance is law, as mentioned before, serious consequences can arise when a website does not strictly follow the guidelines.
The low awareness of this particular law is causing a higher frequency of noncompliant websites across the country. In fact, there was a 33% rise in ADA lawsuits between the years 2017 and 2018.
Not only a company’s non-compliant websites(s) are at risk of civil and other forms of lawsuits, but they also can cost the business’ reputation. With that in mind, the company can struggle with acquiring new customers, leading to less profit and difficulty growing the business over time.
In order to avoid a whole chain of the destruction of a single company, merely follow the law and make the website ADA compliant.
5. History of Lawsuits
Unsurprisingly, making ADA compliant websites keeps the legalities in check. Another predictable fact is that many companies, specifically healthcare organizations, have faced lawsuits due to their noncompliant websites.
ADA compliance for healthcare websites is crucial as the delivery of healthcare products throughout the United States is impactful for everyone.
By the end of 2018, there were more than 10,000 ADA website compliance lawsuits in America. Some of the more important lawsuits within the healthcare industry include Tenet Healthcare, WellPoint, Inc., HCA Holdings, Inc., and CAC Florida Medical Centers.
All of the listed lawsuits cost the healthcare organizations a large sum of money to settle for their criminality. The only way to avoid the lawsuits that keep on rising is to make the website ADA compliant.
Compliance is the only way both the company and its pool of customers even with disabilities win the story.
ADA compliance is a noble cause not only because it is massively important for the livelihood of a company’s growth, but also primarily it makes sure all of our disabled citizens have as much access to information as the rest of us do on the world wide web.