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ADA Website Accessibility: How it Affects Your Business

Tuesday, August 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Graham
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ADA Website Accessibility: How It Affects Your Business

No one wants to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. However, over the course of the last several years' many businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, have found this to be the case. And the reason is that their website wasn't compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Yes, it is true. There isn't enough time to review all the ins and outs of the situation, but here are some key facts to review. 
 
Who is getting sued?
Businesses with physical locations (Example: Restaurants) that have a website presence, but their websites are not built properly to meet Web ADA Standards. If your business has already received a demand letter or has been served with a lawsuit, consult an attorney immediately.

Why are these lawsuits happening? 
ADA law was written in 1990 and did not take into account the internet. The web accessibility lawsuits began back in 2000 when Bank of America became the first entity to settle a web-accessibility lawsuit. It was the first US agreement in which an institution committed to making its website accessible. 
 
Since then, companies both large and small have seen web accessibility lawsuits continue to increase rapidly over the years. These web accessibility lawsuits present a challenge for businesses because the Department of Justice has yet to issue any guidelines or regulations for website accessibility. In this absence of direction, courts nationwide have looked to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the global coalition that creates standards for the internet. In the majority of cases, the WCAG standards are the most comprehensive technical outline for web accessibility and are listed as the standard of which public-facing websites should follow. 
 
How can I protect myself?
Remember that a website is an ever-evolving entity, content may change, and users will come and go. This means that you will need to maintain a web accessibility plan as long as you have a customer-facing website. It is also important to note that a company can be sued repeatedly if the ADA Web infractions are not corrected, even after you have settled a previous lawsuit. For example, some companies have been sued as many as four times for website accessibility. 
 
You need to contact the person/company that built your website and have them make sure your website passes a Web ADA Scan/Test. If you don't have a web person, you’re welcome to contact the team at DigiPro Media. The key is to enter web ADA remediation as quickly as possible and have a remediation plan clearly posted on your website. 
 
How much time, effort and money will it take?
The cost of fixing a website varies drastically based on the complexity of the website. Sometimes it can cost thousands of dollars. However, DigiPro Media, a new alliance partner with the National Restaurant Association and the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association, has built a solution called Adot Pro that can provide immediate protection to association members for less than $500.
 
You can purchase the ADA Pro discounted member solution today at www.adotpro.net/natrest. Or contact the DigiPro Media team at www.digipromedia.com/contact for more information.


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