You’ve taken the steps to ensure that your company’s website is ADA compliant. Now what? First of all, congratulations are in order. Not only have you reduced the likelihood that your company will be held liable for any accessibility-related user challenges, you’ve done a service to the community. When businesses take compliance with the Americans with Disability Act seriously, numerous vulnerable populations become more empowered. At this point, your main focus can shift from achieving compliance to maintaining compliance.
Already ADA Compliant? Making Sure Your Site Stays that Way
Legal interpretation of the ADA as it applies to Internet-based commerce and service providers is constantly evolving. This is not surprising, given that the speed with which the Internet became a mainstay of American business and everyday life was so rapid that the law has had a difficult time “keeping pace.” As a result, it’s important to review your website regularly to better ensure that it remains ADA compliant at all times. Ideally, you’ll want to review your website quarterly, as technological and legal advances are being made every day and may impact your site as a result.
What do you need to accomplish when conducting this review? The answer to this question depends upon how you’re approaching your site’s compliance challenges. If you’re hiring a service to conduct regular compliance checks, you may need to do very little, beyond signing off on that service’s suggestions. But if you’re trying to maintain compliance yourself, you’ll need to become very familiar with the kinds of technology and assistive devices that visually impaired, hearing impaired, and/or mobility impaired individuals are using to access content and transactions online. You’ll need to add scripts to your site that will allow these assistive technologies to run properly so that they can interact with your site in the ways they were intended to interact.
Additionally, you’ll want to stay informed about the legal developments occurring with respect to how the ADA is being applied to Internet-based commerce and services. Most law is not created in the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress. Most law is constructed by judges, as they hand down opinions in lawsuit after lawsuit. As more ADA compliance lawsuits are decided (and possibly appealed), more clarifications are made to the ways in which this law is interpreted and applied to American business. Remaining informed is crucial to ensuring that your company remains insulated from potential liability related to the accessibility of your site.