Important information regarding the potential ROI you could retrieve from making your website accessible.
Simply put, web accessibility is a great business decision. By opening up your website to 15% of the global population that lives with a disability, you’re tapping into a market with a spending power of $8 trillion! Offering your business to this new audience could significantly increase your average yearly revenue.
ADA and Compliance Information
Having an accessible and inclusive website is not only the right thing to do, but it also offers several benefits, such as increased traffic (with improved SEO) and eligibility for tax credits. It is important to note, however, that accessibility is first and foremost a legal requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition to the legislation, we have seen a growing trend of lawsuits filed against non-compliant businesses in recent years. With timing becoming a significant factor, it is essential to ensure that you and your clients are familiar with the ADA and its relation to web accessibility to stay ahead of the curve and minimize the risks of legal ramifications.
This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of web accessibility regulations and standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), other relevant laws, and details on related lawsuit trends.
In addition to covering the essential information on these topics, the article also includes a dedicated section on how to present this information to your clients.
Based on our experience, we have assembled the relevant marketing materials, key points worth emphasizing, and a sample email snippet you can share with your clients.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provides comprehensive civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA is America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities, including web accessibility.
As the internet became essential and websites played a more significant role in how consumers interact with businesses, the way ADA is applied to web accessibility began to change. Since 2018, a clear consensus has emerged that ADA covers the online world. Disability rights activists, legal scholars, and court rulings have agreed that websites, internet portals, and online stores must also be accessible to people with disabilities.
In 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reaffirmed and clarified its 2018 ruling that websites are places of public accommodation and are subject to the ADA’s requirements of general non-discrimination and effective communication.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a massive guidebook that explains how accessible websites should look and operate for people with disabilities. While it is not stated in the ADA, the WCAG has been widely accepted as the industry standard for being ADA-compliant.
Therefore, if you abide by the WCAG guidelines, your website should be considered compliant.
In addition to the ADA, several other accessibility-focused legislations in different countries may be relevant to some of your clients, depending on their business operation and location.
The laws you need to know about:
The legislative landscape has changed in recent years, seeing a significant rise in web accessibility demand letters and lawsuits. Over the past few years, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of businesses have received demand letters, with 3% resulting in a trial. For reference, 2022 saw an all-time high of ADA web accessibility lawsuits, with 3,250 cases filed.
Given this rise in legal claims against non-ADA-compliant businesses, you must be aware of this trend and its potential consequences for your clients and ensure that their websites are accessible and compliant with the ADA.
Below, we have summarized the most relevant information you should be aware of, including a trend graph of recent growth in web accessibility-related demand letters.
Key data and numbers:
Below you can see a graph with the trend in web accessibility-related demand letters, along with the year-on-year growth percentage: