ADA Compliance for Websites and Online Businesses

Since the inception of the internet, there have been calls from various organizations to make the web more accessible to those with disabilities. In recent years, the internet has evolved into a necessary aspect of modern life—many of these organizations would like to classify the web as a human right. And as the internet becomes more and more ubiquitous to everyday life, the calls to make it accessible have grown louder, and they’re changing the way websites are built. 
Of course, this isn’t a new development. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed in 1990, and it was introduced to prevent discrimination against those with disabilities and to provide them with equal access to public services. As websites are seen more and more as public services,  surges in lawsuits surrounding accessibility on websites have grown. It’s never been more important for webmasters to ensure their websites are compliant with ADA standards.
However, while there aren’t any legal stipulations for what does and doesn’t make a website compliant, there are guidelines to follow. The World Wide Web Consortium, an international organization formed to develop open standards for the web, introduced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG. These guidelines aim to make the internet accessible to those with disabilities, including learning disorders, auditory and visual impairments, and other disabilities. The latest version of these guidelines, WCAG 2.1, is recognized universally by most businesses and government agencies, including the ADA.
Adhering to the WCAG entails incorporating features to make a website equally accessible to those with disabilities and impairments. Compliance is especially important for business websites that provide consumer services and goods as well as government agency websites. And while an organization may not intend to discriminate, not adhering to the WCAG can be considered discriminatory and can oftentimes result in lawsuits. 
And lawsuits against organizations with noncompliant websites are increasing by 15 percent each year on average. Some of the most popular states with growing ADA compliance lawsuits include Florida, California, and New York. Small businesses to large corporations are increasingly being sued each year. Some of the most common businesses being sued for non-compliant websites for ADA include online retail stores, doctor offices, hospitals, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, and even government websites.
ADA and WCAG compliance is no easy task. All elements of a website must be made accessible by technologies that support accessibility. For example, a screen reader needs to be able to focus on different sections and areas of a page and identify what they are. This includes images, videos, and other non-text elements. All assistive technology must be able to interact with and process every element of a website. To be compliant, a website must be completely accessible with assistive technology. With this in mind, it’s imperative for organizations to seek experts in the field of accessibility to ensure compliance.
Calinetworks has experience working with various businesses, large and small, to help make their websites accessible to all users, across all industries. Calinetworks offers website auditing that can determine how and where a website isn’t accessible to those with disabilities, as well as creating a strategy for making a website ADA compliant. 
And since ADA compliance is an evolving process, Calinetworks works with its clients to create guidelines that can be used by the organization to ensure that a website remains ADA compliant in the future.
Source: Calinetworks