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When it comes to ADA compliance, businesses are often a little bit confused about what to do.
It can be difficult enough deciphering whether some new or modern design element in a brick and mortar establishment will meet ADA accessibility requirements, but businesses must also figure out what that means digitally as companies are facing an increasing number of lawsuits over ADA website accessibility.
ADA access cases are taking a new form across the country. It is being reported that a wave of lawsuits are being filed against businesses in New York and Florida for failing to have accessible websites. And while some of these businesses report being able to fix their problems for free, with bigger businesses claiming up to $40K in costs to do, the law is clear, and failing to take remedial action before getting hit with a surf-by lawsuit is simply not worth the risk.
While the public may often get up in arms about these lawsuits targeting small businesses, there is no good PR spin for these cases as the ADA has been the law for nearly 30 years now. And, it's worth noting that most websites were created after the passage of the ADA.
What Is Website Compliance?
Simply put, a website doesn't need to look any different in order to be compliant, but it does need to incorporate certain features that will aid those with visual, auditory, and other impairments. Simple examples include using closed captioning for any video content, or text descriptions of photographs or other images, so that screen reading software can read a description of the image.
Additionally, if you offer downloadable content, like free PDF guides, you'll want to create alternative formats such as Rich Text or HTML versions so those who rely on assistive tech will be able to access that content, too.