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The importance of staying ADA compliant online

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2020 | ADA |

Many Californians are aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. Often, ADA compliance is seen as a requirement for people who shop or seek services on-site. With the rising popularity of online shopping, however, the ADA has spread to the internet.

It’s important for all e-commerce businesses to understand what might constitute an ADA violation. The 1999 Web Content Access Guidelines (WCAG) have been updated as WCAG 2.0. There is a bare minimum known as Tier A. This level, which is actually not ADA compliant, involves providing subtitles and other assistive additions. Tier AAA has the most details. While not all businesses can reach tier AAA, they should all make sure their online information is comprehensible and can be easily navigated.

People with visual impairments often use screen readers that read online text out loud. This means businesses should add alternative text to images. For video and audio content, having subtitles and transcripts will keep the business in compliance with the ADA. Ensuring proper spelling and comprehensible audio can be crucial.

Mobile access and keyboards should also be adjusted for users with disabilities. If the person has motor disabilities, it can be complicated to effectively communicate. Different types of keyboards like Bluetooth can help.

If the site uses fonts that could be difficult to understand, this can violate the ADA. Focusing on aesthetics may hinder the ability of users to read and understand the text.

Businesses can be vulnerable to ADA legal action for many reasons. Website ADA compliance issues are relatively new and can therefore leave the business open to allegations of non-compliance. A business may benefit from legal advice in adhering to the ADA. If necessary, a lawyer could craft a defense against a lawsuit.