The American Disabilities Act (ADA for short) was signed in 1990 by George W. Bush, which prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities. The goal of the act is to provide a comprehensive, national mandate for the eradication of discrimination against those with disabilities. As times change, so does the ADA. In 2010, the Department of Justice published the Standards for Accessible Design which is a set of revised regulations added to Titles II and III of the ADA.

These revised regulations set a new standard for how businesses will need to design their websites. The Standards for Accessible Design states that all information technology needs to be accessible to everyone including those with disabilities. This mean that your website will need to be perceivable, operable, understandable as well as robust. For a better understanding of What ADA Website Compliance entails, read our blog: What is ADA Website Compliance?

With growing numbers of non-compliant websites being sued, business owners should make it a priority to address ADA Website Compliance. Seeing the importance of ADA compliancy, we’re going to list the top seven reasons why your website needs to be ADA compliant.

1. Understandable Content for All 

It is proven that in the United States alone, there are “nearly 50 million people with disabilities, which means that about 19 percent of the country has a disability.” (blog.cws.net). If we were to judge based on this statistic alone, for obvious reasons, there are multiple advantages to having a compliant website. With a compliant website, you will be able to accommodate your entire target audience, including those with a disability, which as a result will increase your rankings. But those without a compliant website, will come across customers that are frustrated and are unable to navigate through their site, which will result in missing potential customers.

2. Engaging Your Audience

To add to our first point, if your website meets the necessary accessibility standards of design, your chances of higher engagement levels increases.  For example, “creating text with good color contrast will help everyone read your content more easily, [which will] keep them engaged longer.” Making your website easy to understand will benefit everyone in the long run. The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) released a quick reference guide called ‘WCAG 2 at a Glance’ which provides easy tips on how to make your website meet some of the accessibility standards.

Examples:

This is hard to read, and would not pass ADA compliance.

This is a lot easier to read, and can help keep your audience engaged.

3. Avoiding Costly Penalties 

When the ADA was passed in 1990, they did not originally mention websites considering that technology wasn’t widely used until after 1990. Lately, dozens of websites have been significantly penalized, including “Fordham University, Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Kylie Jenner have been sued for the lack of ADA compliant websites.”. It is stated that businesses with a website is “required to be at least grade A compliant with AAA being the highest.” (blog.cws.net). Businesses who fail to meet compliance could face penalties.

4. Set Yourself a New Reputation

 Most businesses always put their customers first, which is a good reputation to go by! This should not only apply to your customer service, but also with how you represent yourselves in-person and on the web. With the birth of the Internet and the abundance of websites, businesses simply have not adopted to ADA website compliance yet. By getting ahead of the game, you will help set yourself apart against your competitors and set a modern image for your business.

5. It Will Boost Your SEO 

According to Invision App, “people with low vision often make use of screen readers to ‘hear’ the web. These tools convert text to speech, so that the person can hear the words on a site.” Screen readers will often try to read the alternate text within an image, so it’s best to describe what is happening in the image. With the addition of meta tagging, alternate image text and video transcripts, your SEO rankings will be improved. The more meta description you can provide for media on your website, the better for everyone!

6. Saving Money in the End

Think ahead! If your business is aspiring for a fresh start on the web, consider ADA compliance from the very start. If you plan on designing with ADA compliance in mind, you are more likely going to save money than having to rethink and redesign down the road when compliance becomes looked at more frequently.

7. Become a Leader

Lastly, as you set yourselves a new reputation of brand awareness and customer loyalty, becoming a leader is our last point to add. According to Medium.com, Apple was aware of this trend before it became a requirement. Since becoming aware of this issue, they have now set a new standard as they have made all of their products accessible for everyone. As technology begins to grow, our advice to you is to be a leader and set a new reputation for how all business websites should look like.

Looking for help adhering to ADA compliance? Check out our ADA Website Compliance Services.

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