Businesses all over the United States are being taken to court for their failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0, which are both accessibility standards for the internet. This trend began at the beginning of 2018, and it has gained significant traction in the media ever since. If you operate a small business, you should actively explore for methods to make your website more accessible to your customers and potential customers. This will not only result in greater revenue for you, but it will also save you from being one of the numerous targets of legal action while simultaneously making the internet a more welcoming place for users of all abilities.
It is estimated that approximately 1.1 million impaired users each year do not use the internet because some websites might be so inaccessible to individuals with impairments. You can help fight these numbers and make the internet a more inclusive place for everyone if you build your website such that it is accessible to people with disabilities.
In this post, we will discuss four key facts that are important for you to be aware of as the owner of a small business. These facts will assist your website in directly addressing user-friendly design and will help it grow as an accessible online environment.
You’re liable to be sued if your site isn’t accessible
Title III of the American Disabilities Act is a decree that stipulates all people who have a handicap must be treated fairly and without discrimination while they are in a public place. Those of you who were under the impression otherwise, the internet is considered a public space. Because of this, the decisions of the ADA are fully and completely implemented in the online environment that constitutes the website of your company.
As a result of this judgement, businesses run the risk of being taken to court if they fail to provide a digital environment that is fully accessible to people with all kinds of impairments. As a matter of fact, the frequency with which businesses are being served with lawsuits as a result of this regulation has increased to the point where over 265,000 small businesses were served with a demand letter in the year 2020.
Those who were forced to resolve their disputes in court had to make payments of somewhere about $25,000 on average. If you are one of the many people who own businesses and have been putting off creating an accessible website because you believed it would be too difficult or too expensive, you now have an extremely compelling reason to start thinking about doing so.
This is much more prevalent in jurisdictions such as California, Florida, and most notably New York, which hosts fifty percent of all litigation of this type. If your company is located in one of these states and you aren’t currently taking efforts to guarantee that your website is accessible, then you may be facing a lawsuit sooner than you’d want to, even if you don’t take any actions to make your website accessible.
Overlay tools cover 70 per cent of all disabilities
The accessibility tools for the web have advanced to the point where it is now possible to do so even without making any changes to the source code of your website. With the overlay tools that are available for your website, you will be able to download an accessibility tool in about two minutes. Once it has been downloaded, you will have no trouble putting it to use.
A online accessibility tool will add a little emblem representing people with disabilities to the bottom right-hand corner of your page. The user will be presented with a wide variety of various customization choices as soon as they click on it. A thorough disability tool will provide many different features, some of which are listed here for your convenience:
- Seizure Safe
- Vision Impaired Aid
- ADHD Friendly
- Cognitive Disability Aid
- Screen Reader
- Keyboard Navigation Aid
These tools have been developed to assist a prospective user who visits your website by assisting them in a manner that is directly dependent on the disability profile that the user selects. An overlay will prevent users from having a tough time on your site by blocking potentially hazardous aspects and highlighting those that would assist them. This will prevent users from having a difficult time on your site.
The accessibility of your website to users with disabilities may be dramatically improved by installing an accessibility overlay solution. All it takes is a few clicks of your mouse to do so.
Accessibility features help all of your customers
When a proprietor of a company is questioned why their website is inaccessible, the typical response is that it is because the majority of their customers do not have disabilities. This does not take into consideration the fact that the vast majority of impairments, particularly those that make it difficult to utilise the internet, are invisible. Even though more serious impairments spring to mind when you hear this phrase, something as basic as being colour blind can have a significant influence on one’s ability to browse the internet.
When someone who is colorblind visits your website, for instance, they may not be able to locate the button that allows them to proceed to the next page because the usage of particular colours or colour schemes may cause some buttons to be hidden. If this is on a sales page, you are immediately missing out on a transaction owing to the fact that you do not offer features that are available to everyone.
Additionally, considering that persons with disabilities constitute approximately a quarter of the population in the United States, a person accessing the internet while having a handicap is far more frequent than the majority of people imagine it to be. The following are some examples of disability that company owners frequently refuse to accommodate:
- Mobility differences and inability to use the mouse
- People who will experience seizures when triggered by flashing advertisements
- Those with anxiety who suffer from time limits being placed upon them
- People unable to either hear or see
You’ll be able to accommodate users with all of these and other limitations if you make use of a web accessibility tool. You will not be isolating your website from the rest of the internet; rather, you will be opening it out to the public and working to ensure that as many people as possible have access to it.
Making your website accessible to people with disabilities is one of the simplest ways to bring about a dramatic change in the way your organisation conducts its business. Although many people have the misconception that only having a website is sufficient, this is not the case at all. If your website does not include elements that make it accessible to people with disabilities, you are preventing access to it for millions of adults, both in the United States and throughout the world.
Simply making one simple action—downloading an accessibility overlay for the web—will allow you to significantly broaden the audience that can visit your website. You will not be excluding individuals but rather welcoming them in and providing them with the resources they require to successfully navigate the environment.