If you own a business or manage a website, you probably hear more and more about accessibility. Accessibility doesn’t mean that a random user can find your website; that’s what, for example, your SEO does. Instead, it means that a website is compliant with accessibility laws stipulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to accessiBe, “Web accessibility is a set of rules, behaviors, code standards and design guidelines, that are meant to allow people with disabilities, which comprise of 20% of the world’s population, to effectively use websites.” In short, it means that people with disabilities can enjoy their user experience with a website and benefit from its content.
ADA compliance lawsuits have cost businesses millions of dollars in recent years. However, avoiding the expenses and lousy PR of a lawsuit isn’t the only reason to make a website ADA-compliant. Some of the other reasons include growing your customer base and improving your branding. Let’s look at four other reasons in more detail.
Web Accessibility Lawsuits Are Increasing, and They Are Expensive
Courts have interpreted Title III of the ADA as applying to websites, and since 2015, website-related ADA suits have increased every year. They now reach up to thousands annually, which is only the number of lawsuits actually filed in court. Tens of thousands of cases see settlements after a company receives a demand letter but before a plaintiff officially files a suit.
No company, no matter how large or wealthy, is immune. Corporations such as Domino’s Pizza and Target have been hit with accessibility lawsuits.
When companies lose ADA-related lawsuits, they face fines. Even when both sides settle, fines average $20,000. In cases that companies lose, however, the penalties are usually more than twice that.
These fines do not include attorney fees, awards to plaintiffs (which can dwarf the fines), and the costs of redesigning a website for ADA compliance.
Website Accessibility Is Good Business Sense
Statistics show that 25% of web users experience some type of disability that can affect their ability to navigate websites in a user-friendly way. In terms of today’s internet users, that’s over a billion people.
Making sure a website is accessible to all users means that a company will expand its customer base. Sure, many disabled users might just leave the site instead of suing, but that’s still lost potential revenue that will go to a more accommodating competitor.
Accessibility Is Good for Branding and Reputation
Quite simply, a company with a user-friendly website and that cares about its customers will generate loyalty and positive recommendations by word of mouth (and other means). As a company’s reputation for quality, integrity, and responsibility grows, so will its customer base.
SEO Will Improve
Websites that deliver a good user experience will perform better in the rankings of search engine results. An ADA-compliant site doesn’t just attract more users with disabilities; since an accessible website should, by definition, be easy to navigate for anyone, it will attract more users both with and without disabilities. Those users will stay longer, visit more frequently, leave better feedback, and engage in other actions that will boost a site’s SEO.
Design Spinners for Top-Quality Website Design and ADA Compliance
At Design Spinners, we specialize in designing effective websites individualized for companies and their customers. Part of this process is using software from acessiBe to guarantee ADA compliance. This software helps us design websites that will protect you from lawsuits, expand your customer base, and positively promote your branding. accessiBe helps websites alter their fonts, colors, animation, content highlighting, audio muting, and much more to aid accessibility. These aspects can change in real-time when a user requests them, meaning you don’t have to worry about making any changes yourself. Are you up to the challenge of making websites more accessible?