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3 Reasons Your Website Should Be ADA Compliant

Created On: January 14, 2020

What do Harvard, Hooters, and Beyoncé have in common? 

Stumped? They have all been sued for not taking the proper steps to make sure the content on their websites is accessible to people with disabilities. Just like businesses are required to have accessible parking and ramps, it’s necessary to make websites and other digital assets usable for people with disabilities as well. 

 

 

So, what type of websites need to be ADA compliant? There are two main types of organizations this applies to — Title I and Title III. Title I businesses have at least 15 full-time employees and operate a minimum of 20 weeks a year. Title III organizations provide public accommodation, whether it’s lodging, food, entertainment, etc. You can find a more comprehensive definition of Title III businesses here

 

Whether your brand falls into this category or not, making sure your website functions within these guidelines is important. In addition to warding off lawsuits, here are three benefits of having an ADA compliant website.

 

1. Your business can reach more potential customers.  

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a disability. If your website isn’t easily accessible, that could be roughly 25% of people who aren’t seeing your content or learning about your services. 

 

2. People will appreciate your efforts to be accessible.

Whether people have a disability or know someone with one, many have a personal connection to the hardships people may face when navigating daily life. Users will recognize your company’s efforts to remove barriers, which can create positive associations with your brand. 

 

3. Search engines can read your website better. 

Part of making websites usable is adding code that allows screen readers to read it out loud in a natural way. Adaptive devices and search engines also read alt tags, or text descriptions on visual and audio files, which help people understand all of the essential elements of your site. This content not only makes everything more accessible, but it also helps search engines crawl your website and get a better idea of the content, which can positively impact your location among results in organic searches. 

 

While there are no legally set guidelines for compliant websites, courts generally use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as a general measure. Fortunately, the Web Accessibility Initiative has created a guide of tips and tricks you can use to increase your site’s usability based on WCAG. If the surplus of #PinterestFails on social media has scared you away from undertaking any kind of DIY endeavor, Decode has the capabilities to help you meet your ADA compliance goals. Contact us to learn how we can help you develop a website that is optimized to meet the needs of both you and your customers. At the end of the day, taking this extra effort benefits not only people everywhere but also your brand. 

 

Sources: 

StudioCenter | ADA Compliance

Business News Daily | Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Fortune | Beyoncé Was Sued Over Her Website Violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. And You Could Be Too

Web Accessibility Initiative | How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference)

WebAIM | Designing for Screen Reader Compatibility