As a business owner you are you providing a user-friendly website to current customers, clients or patients, or potential new customers who have disabilities such as blindness, low vision and hearing loss. For instance, someone who is blind can access your web-based content using a device called a screen reader. For them to be able to ‘see’ your content the website page must be set up in such a way that it is fully accessible to those using screen readers. Some modifications to the web content, as well as the HTML code, make the content accessible to individuals using screen readers.
According to the ADA, poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as poorly designed buildings prevent some people with disabilities from entering. Access problems often occur because website designers mistakenly assume that everyone sees and accesses a webpage in the same way. This mistaken assumption can frustrate users. Accessible website design recognizes these differences and does not require users to see, hear or use a standard mouse to access the information and services provided. Website accessibility ensures that people with disabilities are able to navigate the Internet using a variety of assistive technologies. For example, some people with low vision or color blindness may be able to simply adjust color schemes, contrast settings and font sizes, while others may need screen readers, speech recognition or text-enlargement software. Those with a hearing impairment may need closed captioning for videos, while others may need to interact with a website without a mouse or touch screen.
Currently, Federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, require that businesses and organizations which offer goods and/or services to the public must ensure all web-based and electronic content be easily accessible for those with disabilities, including blindness, low vision and hearing loss. Businesses whose websites fail to comply with this standard are vulnerable to legal claims that can cost a small fortune in court costs and legal settlements.
Over the last 2 years it is reported that some large companies have been sued for ADA compliance issues or settled lawsuits. Target was required to pay $6 million to settle an accessibility lawsuit, and Netflix settled a case against them for $795,000.
In Indian River County Florida, Treasure Coast Community Health became aware of other Community Health Centers that were threatened with $48,000 lawsuits for non-compliant websites.
“When we learned there was the potential of a lawsuit for non-ADA compliant websites, we were extremely concerned. We wanted to remedy the situation as soon as possible. I contacted Steve Schwartz at PD/GO and fortunately, he and his team were able to create an ADA compliant website that provides those in need with the opportunity to access information by removing barriers,” stated Vicki Soulé, CEO of Treasure Coast Community Health.
Many small businesses are also being targeted and have incurred expenses of up to $100,000 for non-compliance. The number of these kinds of lawsuits continues to grow every year, and as such, the importance of website compliance cannot be overstated.
To find out if your website is compliant with the requirements of the ADA, click adatest.pdgo.com and enter your full website address, such as https://www.mysitename.com, in the box labeled “Address,” and then click the “Check It” button. This tool will scan your website and will report the results of the scan.
A non-compliant website is not a cause for panic. Using the PD/GO System Version 4, the PD/GO team can create an alternate version of a client’s website that addresses the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) referenced in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. We will do everything they can using the available tools and guidelines to make a compliant version. Every website is different so the price for this service will vary.
“I strongly encourage business owners to test their website for compliance using the free link we provide. If the website is not compliant, I believe it’s better and less costly to proactively fix your website now rather than becoming a target of an expensive and stressful lawsuit later,” says Steve Schwartz, President and CEO of PD/GO Digital Marketing. He continues, “There are many fine website design companies on the Treasure Coast; however, to the best of our knowledge, PD/GO is the only one that can help ensure that clients’ websites are ADA-compliant.”
For more information go to – https://www.pdgo.com/services/ada-compliant-websites/
Or contact Steve Schwartz – 888.354.4946
PD/GO Digital Marketing
445 27th Ave SW #C103,, Vero Beach, FL 32968