Over the past year there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of lawsuits relating to ADA compliant websites. Even if your website was built by Checkerboard or another professional agency, no site is always in compliance: policies change and the content and coding is in constant flux.
We’ve had clients who have faced ADA class action lawsuits, involving thousands of companies across the country. We felt obligated to make sure everyone was fully aware of the current regulations and the options you have to protect yourself from potential litigation.
What Regulations Exist?
ADA Compliance relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The international standards in digital accessibility are set by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and is called WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). WCAG 2.1 are the Accessibility Guidelines that currently need to be met, but WCAG 2.2 is scheduled to be published sometime this year.
There is a long list of regulations that need to be met. A quick list with descriptions can be found by clicking here.
Steps You Can Take
We aren’t lawyers, but the general recommendation is you should make a plan to manage compliance and make a good faith effort towards serving these individuals. We have partnered with Online ADA to put together a range of their available plans to help reduce your risk:
At the lowest level there are WordPress plugins to automatically run compliance checks. We could help you install and configure one. These plugins are relatively low in cost and offer a long list of changes which can be manually changed on your website to make it more compliant. However, these plugins won’t always find everything a real human would, and you have to continue to monitor them yourself as WCAG regulations change.
Starts at: $49/month.
Mid level are plugins that make automated corrections. These cost a little bit more, but will automatically make changes as regulations change. For complex sites, you’ll likely want to make sure nothing is breaking when automatic changes are made. These again are not considered 100% compliant, but will significantly reduce your risk.
Starts at: $450/month.
Top level includes manual testing from a third-party agency and starts with a large investment to eliminate the risk. These programs involve accessibility statements, certification credentials, re-audits, and litigation support. Continuous manual audits from accessibility agencies are considered the only way to achieve near-complete protection from litigation.
There’s no “right” option here, every website is a little different. It’s up to you to determine the best path for your business.
What We’re Doing for ADA Compliance
We have now worked with several ADA Compliance services and have settled on OnlineADA. If you have other tools you want to use we can still assist you with implementation on your site. If you have questions about ADA compliance or are looking for advice, we’d be happy to help however we can. You can send us an email or give us a call at 612-787-7483. If you want to get started right away, visit our ADA Compliance Page to begin.