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Web Accessibility and My Business

ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY

Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.. I’m writing to share some vital information about web accessibility for people with disabilities and how it might affect your business. 

Per ADA.gov, “Inaccessible web content means that people with disabilities are denied equal access to information…[and]…can exclude people just as much as steps at an entrance to a physical location.”

The ADA requires that businesses open to the public provide full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to people with disabilities. Businesses open to the public must take steps to provide appropriate communication aids and services (often called “auxiliary aids and services”) where necessary to make sure they effectively communicate with individuals with disabilities. 

This includes websites.

Examples of website accessibility barriers include poor color contrast, use of color to give information, lack of text alternatives (“alt text”) on images, no captions on videos, inaccessible online forms, and mouse-only navigation, to name a few.

A website with inaccessible features can limit the ability of people with disabilities to access a public accommodation’s goods, services, and privileges available through that website.

For these reasons, the Department of Justice has consistently taken the position that the ADA’s requirements apply to all the goods, services, privileges, or activities offered by public accommodations, including those offered on the web.

What does this mean for your business?

Without an accessible website, you face the risk of litigation, which could cost you up to $30,000 in a settlement, as well as valuable time and energy that could be spent on your business operations. Implementing web accessibility, most importantly, is the right thing to do, and neglecting it could result in potential reputational damage.