ADA Compliance and Web Design: What You Need to Know

August 10, 2023  |  Carole Clark Isakson

Is your website ADA compliant? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all electronic information and technology be accessible to those with disabilities. The US Department of Justice provided very specific guidance in this area in 2010, but MANY organizations are not compliant. In fact, according to a recent StarTribune article, citing a survey by the Institute for Disability Research Policy and Practice at Utah State University, 96.3% of the most visited websites are not fully compliant with the accessibility requirements of the ADA. If the ADA applies to your business, it applies to your website.

The Cost of Noncompliance

What does this mean for you? Litigation is on the rise in this area with some lawyers and law firms focusing on filing lawsuits against companies with non-compliant websites. Lawsuit costs and alleged damages can easily exceed $100,000. If your website isn’t compliant and the ADA applies to you, it’s time to improve your website. Even better than legal compliance, however, is the fact that making your website compliant will expand your marketing to a group of potential clients and customers that you were missing (and that were perhaps missing you).

How to Improve Your Website

The best way to ensure that your website is ADA compliant is to contact your web developer or another third-party professional to assist. Many companies specialize in this area. The goal is to make your website accessible to those with compromised vision or hearing for instance. For those who can’t hear, a form of closed captioning would be made available for videos or other spoken parts of your website. The visually impaired will be able to hear about your services with an option for text to be read aloud. All users of your website should be able to navigate it fully.

Generally speaking, the ADA applies to state and local government, private organizations with more than 15 employees, organizations that work for the public benefit (this is a huge group) and more.