The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA aims to both prevent discrimination on the basis of disability and protect the rights of disabled Americans to participate in the mainstream American experience. Since it was enacted, both the government and private enterprises have done a relatively decent job at preventing discrimination based on disability. However, the second pillar of the ADA (protecting the rights of disabled Americans to participate in the mainstream American experience) has received much less attention. Now that the first pillar of the ADA is widely understood and the subject of much oversight, the second pillar of the ADA’s mission is becoming more scrutinized.
For decades, the government focused its related efforts on better ensuring that mobility-impaired Americans had proper access to ramps, elevators, housing, and public restrooms. More recently, Braille overlays on elevator buttons, audio cues at crosswalks, and the availability of assisted listening devices at museums and theaters have helped to ensure that certain populations of disabled Americans can more fully participate in many of the daily experiences that so many people take for granted. However, many situations remain either inaccessible or otherwise so inconvenient that it remains difficult or impossible for disabled individuals to participate in many “everyday” experiences. One of the primary areas where this disconnect is becoming increasingly apparent is the ways in which technology doesn’t always account for disability. Specifically, many companies are realizing that their online services are not ADA compliant.
ADA Website Compliant? – The Basics
If your company’s website has not been evaluated for ADA compliance, you may be unsure of what you need to do to “get it up to code.” There are several ways that obtaining assistance with ensuring that your ADA website compliance concerns are addressed can change user experience for disabled individuals using your site. Take a minute to visit a single page on your company’s site while evaluating it for accessibility concerns – What would it be like to visit your site if you were blind or visually impaired? Deaf or hearing impaired? Would it be particularly difficult to navigate if someone had significant dexterity challenges? Tweaking the layout, navigability, and plugins on your site (and perhaps adding an accessibility page) may make it far more accessible and ADA website compliant. Changes that would be virtually unnoticed by able-bodied users could make a world of difference for disabled users. Benefitting from the guidance of a service well-versed in compliance requirements could open your company’s site up to another demographic and ensure that your company is no longer vulnerable to the legal, practical, and PR challenges that accompany non-compliance.
ADA Website Compliant Assistance Is Available
If your company’s site has not been evaluated for ADA compliance, please schedule a consultation with our company today. Once we complete a plugin review and manually audit your content, we can advise you of the tweaks that need to be made to ensure compliance. Once necessary changes have been made, we’ll provide you with an affidavit of initial compliance. Moving forward, we can help you maintain compliance through quarterly evaluations, audits, reports, and updates as requirements evolve.