It is estimated that 25% of all Americans have some type of disability. California residents who are disabled may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Generally speaking, the law requires that companies offer websites that are reasonably accessible to visitors who have a mental or physical impairment. Companies that are not in compliance with ADA regulations could be subject to lawsuits.
There are several steps that businesses could take to either comply with the law or make a good faith effort to do so. For instance, a business could offer a phone number for visitors to call who can’t see or otherwise access information on its website. Companies could also edit their sites so that text can be read to an individual who is blind or has difficulty reading for any reason. Business owners should be aware that their sites need to be in compliance on the backend of the site as well.
Unfortunately, there are no clear guidelines for organizations to follow when it comes to being in compliance with ADA regulations. This is because the internet wasn’t used as much when the law was passed roughly 30 years ago. Those who study the issue say that Congress should pass a law clarifying what companies must do to meet the needs of those who interact with companies online.
Companies that make an effort to come into compliance with ADA website regulations may obtain a favorable outcome in any lawsuits that they face. An attorney may provide evidence that a business took actions in an attempt to make it easier for disabled individuals to access information on those sites. This may include efforts to increase font size, installing text reading devices or offering a phone number for visitors to call.