As a small business owner, you understand the importance of making sure your building and facilities are compliant with the standards set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you do not make this a priority, you could face legal action and other negative consequences. Some business owners are learning that more and more people expect websites to be ADA compliant as well.
According to the ADA, disabled individuals have the right to expect reasonable accommodations in places of public accommodation. In most cases, this means wheelchair ramps, accessible bathrooms and more. However, more and more people believe the internet is a place of public accommodation as well, and more businesses are facing lawsuits for not having their websites meet certain standards.
What does this mean for you?
You may wonder how a website could include elements that would make it accessible. There are certain features that you could include that would make your website usable by people who are blind, deaf or have other types of disabilities. This means coding the site in a way that would allow for screen readers to translate the page into an audio version. It also means including a visual description for any video components of your site.
One unique complication for business owners is that there is not a set of uniform standards that websites should adhere to in order to be compliant, but there are a few industry standards that your business can follow. There are costs associated with bringing a site to reasonable standards, and it can cost thousands of dollars for business owners who may not have the money. In the meantime, a delay in doing this further exposes your business to litigation.
Companies facing litigation
Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of lawsuits filed against companies for failing to have compliant sites. The issue for businesses is that many are unaware of how they could be compliant or cannot currently afford professional assistance in changing their website. One particular type of business that is seeing significant increases in lawsuits due to website issues are auto dealers.
What can you do to fight back?
There are several things you can do to protect your business against a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit. If you are not sure of where to start, it may help to seek the guidance of a California attorney who understands ADA compliance standards and who can help you seek a beneficial outcome to your situation.