Does your website need to be ADA compliant?
The simple answer is yes. All websites are legally considered “public accommodations” because they offer goods and services to the general public.
Consequently, all websites must comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide an equal level of access to everyone, including people with sight, hearing, or other physical disabilities.
There are other factors that also recommend compliance. If your website wasn’t built with ADA criteria in mind, you may be closing your doors to a large number of potential visitors. ADA compliance is a search engine ranking factor, so it affects visibility as well as traffic. You may also be putting yourself or your company at risk. In the last five years, the number of websites that were sued for ADA-related violations rose by more than 250% (see chart, below).
How to Know If Your Website Is ADA Compliant
There are several criteria that govern ADA compliance. In simple terms, websites need to have a logical structure and understandable content. They also need to accommodate all forms of assistive technology, such as screen readers. In more detailed terms, the ADA uses a standard set of guidelines to measure website compliance. They are known as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and they change and evolve with the dynamic state of online technology. The best way to understand your website’s level of compliance is to perform a comprehensive audit.
Google’s open source software (Lighthouse) incorporates WCAG and you can use it, free of charge, to perform an “Accessibility Audit” on any single web page of your site. You can even test your entire site, although you will have to do it one page at a time.
If your site is large, and you want a comprehensive report, you may want to find a consultant with an automated system. There are many companies that provide this service (including ours) and most of them also offer an option for regular compliance monitoring.
If your website has not undergone a thorough ADA Compliance audit, and you’d like a free initial consultation, just fill out the form below and a FourFront representative will contact you.
If you would like to have FourFront conduct an accessibility audit on your website, a fee schedule appears below.
|Website Size (# of Pages)||Full-Site Audit|
|>10,000||Call for Price|
Every price point includes an ADA Compliance Report: a page-by-page document identifying WCAG issues and the exact code snippets where they occur. This report is designed to be turn-key for web developers. It will help them quickly locate, understand, and repair any issues.
If your site meets WCAG standards, FourFront will provide you with a certification badge (shown below) which can be placed on your website as evidence of steps taken. It may also provide you with a deterrent to drive-by lawsuits.
What To Do If Your Website Is Not ADA Compliant
If you have completed a full accessibility audit and your website requires remediation, you will need to contact a web developer and provide them with a copy of your ADA Compliance Report. This report will double as a task list and help your developer create an accurate estimate of associated time and costs. It will also provide hard evidence of your efforts to comply with WCAG.