Developing a website allows a business to market itself and connect with prospective consumers. However, new websites are also at risk of specific type of liability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that companies make their goods and services accessible to people with all kinds of disabling medical conditions. The physical location of a business is not the only amenity that needs to be accessible. Websites often also need to be accessible for a company to avoid allegations that it discriminated against people with certain medical conditions.
How can businesses avoid allegations of having a non-ADA-compliant website?
Design for the disabled from the start
The easiest way to ensure compliance with ADA requirements is to hire a website designer who can make an ADA-compliant website. Typically, this means having code that cooperates with screen reading software. Avoiding flashing images and making the website adjustable for those with vision issues can also be important accessibility concerns. If businesses design websites to be accessible, then they won’t have to worry about claims or absorbing costs to rework the site later.
Offer alternative access
Often, ADA complaints arise from the fact that customers must book a hotel room via a website or can only get certain types of support or discounts when ordering online. If a business provides accessible options that offer the same prices and services that consumers could receive via their website, there may not be grounds for a claim of discrimination.
Organizations that are accused of disability discrimination and ADA violations could face large fines and a requirement to take down or rebuild their website. Considering ways of proactively complying with the ADA may benefit executives and business owners alike as a result.