In plain language. . .
The law that primarily governs accessibility is The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title III—which prohibits disability-based discrimination for “places of public accommodations”—has been interpreted by courts to extend to websites. Nearly overnight, companies are forced to improve accessibility and user experience at the cost of being targeted by the online equivalent of ambulance chasers.
The thing is, compliance is never truly achieved.
It’s a process, not a deliverable.
The ideal site will be accessible and usable for audiences with visual, motor, or other impairments. How do you do that? Well, there are some guiding principles in place (WCAG 2.1—updated June, 2018) for courts when assessing whether a website accommodates disabled individuals. However, it’s important to know that these standards are constantly evolving and compliance today doesn’t ensure a passing grade tomorrow.
Success Story: NWABA
The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering visually impaired individuals through participation in sports and physical activity. We selected NWABA as our 2017/18 pro-bono partner and continue to work with them to optimize their site on a monthly basis.
ADA: Don’t Just Comply, EXCEL!
Compliance is shorthand for ADA, but it’s such an ugly word for an important issue. At Gravitate, we get a ton of calls from organizations who have just been sued—or are afraid they might be—and therefore want to do the absolute minimum to comply and avoid potential penalties and, essentially, save money.
ADA/WCAG rules are intended to help your site serve a wider audience, including real people (62 million in the US) who want to engage with your content, use your service, or buy your product.
We can all do better.
ADA Compliance in 2019
The waters have always been muddy surrounding ADA website compliance. While there are agreed-upon standards, there aren’t inspectors and clear paths to remediate fines, as there are with physical spaces. Even the rules that do exist have never been as clear as they should be.
Let us help you navigate the guidelines, prioritize your efforts, and ensure your website offers the best possible user experience for people with disabilities.
A little about us. . .
Gravitate is a digital agency specializing in web design, development, optimization, and digital marketing. We combine research-driven strategy and inventive design to architect change and build the best experiences for our clients’ audiences. We partner with people—courageous people, people who want change, and people who don’t just want to leave a dent in their industry, but a crater.