Any company with a website, mobile application, or online presence is prone to lawsuits if they do not adhere to the accessibility guidelines mandated by the government. Noncompliance can be interpreted as discrimination against people with disabilities (PwD), leading to large losses as litigations, fines, and compensations. Web developers, designers, and business owners play a vital role in ensuring digital inclusivity.
Accessibility Laws around the World
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) act works to make the lives of PwD easy. ADA regulations also apply to digital properties. So businesses are legally required to comply.
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates that all information and communications of federal agencies are ADA compliant.
- The European Accessibility Act (EAA) mandates all public and private sectors that work in or for the European Union states are digitally accessible.
The Increasing Wave of ADA-Related Lawsuits
There are clear-cut laws that make accessibility a business’s legal duty; there is no room for escape when someone files a lawsuit for discrimination. This can be PwD or anyone who finds it difficult to use your website or application.
- While noncompliance may seem like a small problem, 8,694 lawsuits were registered in federal courts in the United States in 2022. This comprises 37 percent of the total federal cases filed that year and does not include out-of-court settlements.
- Everything is digital and online nowadays. A few clicks to use your website can become a new lawsuit, which again can be filed online.
- E-commerce, food services, and health care were the top three sectors that received lawsuits in 2022.
- Utah State University’s Project has found that in 2023, 96.3 percent of the top one million home pages were not ADA compliant.
How to Save on Litigation?
There are no shortcuts to digital accessibility. Web developers and designers must keep user experience in mind when they plan. It is more efficient to design websites and apps that are born accessible than to make changes to existing ones. Accessibility audits can help you figure out the accessibility level of your websites, and you can take action accordingly. Compliance is the only way to save up on litigation and fines, and it also works out to be cheaper in the long run.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WCAG 2.1 A or AA-level conformance, ensures ADA compliance in the United States.
- Start with easy navigation, alt-text for images, and transcripts for audios and videos.
- Create awareness about accessibility laws.
- Involve third-party professionals to audit and remediate your websites.
- Look for funding opportunities and free services that can help.
- Avoid website overlays that promise inexpensive solutions.
Accessibility has more benefits than just saving you from lawsuits. An inclusive user experience brings more organic traffic to your website. This will increase your market reach while creating a positive brand image. Search engines favor websites that are accessible and rank them higher. Partner with Amnet, and prioritize digital accessibility. Amnet is a certified vendor with expertise in the field that can ensure ADA compliance. Reach out to get a quote for your accessibility needs.
What Should You Do?
It’s simple. Obtain an evaluation of your website’s compliance with the latest accessibility standard (WCAG 2.1) through Digita11y Accessibility Scanners and Solutions. Amnet is also a Benetech-certified EPUB conversion vendor. We provide a comprehensive suite of digital accessibility services that not only remediates and transforms existing content but also creates born-accessible content. We ensure that our clients stay ahead and promote digital equality by adhering to regulatory standards like the ADA, WCAG, Section 508, and EN 301 549.