ADA Compliance – A 2020 Essential Web Feature

Posted on October 7, 2020 | ADA Compliance Best Practices Design Trends Digital Marketing Tools Web Design
Eric Bronson

ADA Web Compliance and Accessibility Lawsuits – An Essential Web Feature 

 

Over the last few years, there has been a sharp spike in the amount of ADA-Compliance lawsuits hitting the internet. From major corporations to small businesses, not only are there settlement and legal fees, but the added expenses to updating your website.

  • Nearly 27% of all US adults have some form of disability or impairment while using the internet
  • There were over 150k ADA-Compliance lawsuits in 2019 alone, and they are growing at nearly 200% each year

In the Denver area alone, there is an insurgency of “drive-by” lawsuits, with reports of one individual filing over 50 different lawsuits on small and local businesses around Denver

While current regulations state that any business under 15 employees are free from ADA-Compliance website regulation, this has become one additional step in building a safe and secure website. We have overseen several ADA-Compliance optimization projects and most of these solutions have their inherent downfalls.

Web Accessibility through Manual Coding

 

There are many web solutions, specialists, and agencies who claim complete compliance, but nothing is as cumbersome as manual coding. Manual web accessibility coding work is extremely costly, with basic projects starting at $5,000 to well over $50,000 depending on the website’s size. These solutions can take months to complete and doesn’t provide an on-going solution. 

Problems with Manual Accessibility Coding 

  • Extremely costly
  • Can take months to complete
  • Requires continuous maintenance during web updates
  • Is a constant ongoing process for your web team
Computer code concept

Accessibility Compliance with Web Plugins

 

There has been a lot of buzz in the marketplace discussing why web accessibility overlays are not compliant. Research shows web plugins and overlays only handle up to 25% of the WCAG requirements leaving the remaining 75% inaccessible and vulnerable to lawsuits. 

Why? Those overlays only handle the more simple requirements, which are the CSS adjustments of a website. For instance, color contrast ratios, stop animations, larger cursors, font colors and sizing, and more. AccessiBe differs from other layover tools because it handles both the foreground CSS adjustments and the 75% ‘heavy background lifting’ WCAG 2.1 AA requirements. Check out this resource if you want to learn more about the specifics.

After thoroughly vetting, we believe we have found the best option for our clients and even implemented it for our Buhv’s website. AccessiBe will make your website fully WCAG 2.1 and ADA-Complaint within 48 hours.

 

 

How does AccessiBe ADA-compliance software work?

The AccessiBe software works in two different ways. First, it provides an Accessibility Interface on each page, allowing users to make adjustments to resolution, imagery, colors, etc. This does not disrupt the website’s functionality or SEO but is merely making minor code adjustments via Javascript to meet ADA-Compliance requirements. This is active from the moment you install the software.  

Secondly, the program also uses Artificial Intelligence to crawl the website. Within 48 hours, it will fill in any alt-tag information and other accessibility content missing from the site. The best part, it will then continue to crawl the website every 24 hours to ensure that any new content, updates, or changes are also 100% compliant (this runs in the background). 

Finally, the software also provides a Litigation Support Package. In the unlikely event that you are served, they will provide documentation and help support you through the legal process. 

 

So… where does this leave us?

 

You have a few options moving forward:

  • Do nothing… however, you could be at risk of a lawsuit.
  • Take your website offline… But now you don’t have a business.
  • Hire an ADA compliance specialty company like SiteImprove ($5k+/month) or AudioEye ($10k+/year)
  • Use a “Free Plugin” service that only provides 20-50% coverage on compliance.
  • Use AccessiBe

With most websites falling within their $490/year pricing plan, this is the best solution we have found.

Want to check where your website is regarding Accessibility, you can use this free Scan Tool.

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