The Americans with Disabilities Act has set guidelines which require businesses to provide all customers the same accessibility to services, regardless of physical limitations. This extends to websites and apps as well. Users with hearing or vision impairments must be able to access websites and apps with the same level of ease as other users. This has significant implications, given the increasing numbers of essential services, such as banking, education and medical care, that require a certain degree of online involvement.
Businesses that do not comply with these requirements can not only face stiff fines and penalties but also suffer a loss in revenue when they cut themselves off from potential customers. Since 2015, authorities have been cracking down on businesses with websites that have failed to measure up to the guidelines, and there is a growing body of case law that confirms the need for companies to create an online presence that is accessible to all customers.
Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides a checklist that can serve as a reliable guide for making a website accessible to all customers, including people with disabilities.ADA-compliant sites should include resizable text and contrast mode options to make them easier for visually impaired users to read. Photos must be accompanied by text descriptions, while videos must come with audio descriptions, closed captions, and transcripts for those who are hearing impaired.
Business owners are also encouraged to employ accessibility measures, such as PDF remediation, MS document remediation, video captioning and audio descriptions, to measure up to ADA standards, and to utilize video players that are accessible to mobility-challenged users.
ADA compliance is not something that you can put off for another day. Not only do you risk government fines and sanctions, but you also close yourself off from potential customers, which could lead to lower traffic and lower revenues. By utilizing secure and scalable approaches that ensure that assistive-technology users can access the site as efficiently as other users can, you can upgrade your website accessibility to be compliant with current regulations and more accessible to a broader base of consumers as well.