Why Do I Need WCAG ADA Website Compliance Testing?
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“When it rains, it pours!” sang Luke Combs, a famous music star. If used in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what makes a website ADA compliant, the phrase accurately describes the number of lawsuits filed in the United States over websites that do not meet the ADA site compliance guidelines.
Many large and small businesses in the United States have yet to recover from the soaring inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain snarls caused by COVID-19. Despite this, they are facing a new challenge: ADA site compliance lawsuits. In the year 2020, for example, it is estimated that over 2500 ADA non-compliance lawsuits were filed in various courts throughout the United States.
Serial plaintiffs have filed an unprecedented number of court cases under the ADA, according to business owners and industry associations. They observe that the cases have successfully helped to extract settlements worth thousands of dollars. While the intent of these lawsuits may appear to be exorbitant, companies can easily avoid them by ensuring that their websites comply with the ADA.
Authorities are working hard to prosecute some of the petitioners in what may be interpreted as exorbitant lawsuits. “We’ll hold those accountable who exploit vulnerable business owners, harm immigrant communities, and undermine the intent of laws designed to promote accessibility,” said San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin in July 2021 after launching an investigation into ADA lawsuits targeting Chinatown businesses, many of which are run by immigrants with limited English.
While district attorneys are working to put a stop to fraudulent ADA lawsuits, for example, in California they announced a civil lawsuit against a law firm that has filed thousands of fraudulent boilerplate lawsuits against small businesses, it is best to stay safe by ensuring that your website is ADA compliant.
You risk being caught off guard when serial litigants pounce on you unless you regularly check the state of your website’s ADA site compliance using a trusted ADA site compliance audit firm. When your website does not comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or the ADA, you may find it difficult to rely on the crackdown on fraudulent ADA litigants. When your website is found to be ADA non-compliant, ignorance of the law cannot be used as a defense.
There is no simple way to protect yourself from ADA lawsuits, no matter how frivolous you believe they are. The situation could have been improved if Ted Poe’s 2017 bill, which proposed requiring businesses to receive written notice of violations and give them time to correct them before filing a lawsuit, had passed in the Senate.
Due to the Senate’s opposition to the bill, if you do not make an effort to conduct an ADA site compliance audit and address any accessibility issues that arise, you may be the next business or organization to receive unexpected ADA non-compliance demands. That is why you need frequent WCAG ADA website testing so that you are not caught off guard by serial petitioners who are busy running businesses and organizations’ websites through free ADA website compliance checkers in order to obtain issues to support lawsuits filed against your business or organization.
The ADA law is a watershed moment in the history of granting people with disabilities the right to equal treatment. When your company conducts WCAG ADA website compliance testing on a regular basis, it ensures that any accessibility issues that arise with the website are addressed promptly in order to maintain goodwill and a positive reputation among people with disabilities and the community in which the company operates.
Testing your website and removing existing accessibility barriers is more than a symbolic gesture; it encourages all types of customers to visit the website. This increases the number of potential customers. It also demonstrates the company’s sense of worth and social responsibility, which often pays more than traditional advertising methods.
WCAG ADA site compliance testing assists you in making accessibility changes that demonstrate your social responsibility, such as solidarity with minority groups, including people with disabilities. It will undoubtedly increase your revenue because, nowadays, an increasing number of customers are committing their money and loyalty to businesses that demonstrate disability inclusion.
WCAG ADA testing also helps to broaden the appeal of your business to a significant segment of the population, including people with disabilities and rights defenders who work around the clock to ensure minorities’ rights are respected.
When you consciously test your website for WCAG ADA compliance, you can ensure that it adheres to the accessibility guidelines, giving you a distinct competitive advantage in providing a superior and inclusive overall experience across Internet browsers.
When your website is WCAG ADA compliant, it sends information to Google and other search engines, allowing it to reach a wider audience and increase brand visibility. More visitors to your website means more chances to convert them into customers, which means more sales and revenue, as well as a higher return on investment (ROI).
When you constantly test your website for WCAG ADA compliance and fix any accessibility issues that you find, you enable your company to receive federal government tax credit offers that are typically given to businesses that make eligible ADA-related access expenditures. You can speak with ADA Compliance Pros for more information on the benefits of WCAG ADA website testing, as well as additional web accessibility resources for your reference.
When you implement ADA site compliance that is supported by ongoing WCAG ADA website testing by reputable ADA site compliance audit professionals such as ADA Compliance Pros, you will discover that the many ADA compliance standards and requirements that will help you along your journey will also help you improve the usability of your website to all users. For example, regardless of the disability status of your website’s users, if they’re in a car with limited visual attention or in a noisy room, they can use the features you’ve integrated into the website to assist people with visual disabilities or hearing impairment.Improves Your Website’s SEO Rankings
WCAG ADA website compliance testing enables you to improve your website’s SEO rankings. When you hire professionals like ADA Compliance Pros to conduct your ADA site compliance audit, they will generate ADA site compliance audit reports for you that will assist you in identifying accessibility issues on your website that may affect search engines’ ability to index your website effectively.
An ADA site compliance audit report provides you with a view of your website’s ADA compliance and is organized around the number of accessibility issues found on each page of your website, as well as the weight of each issue’s impact on your site’s overall ADA compliance and the relative frequency of its occurrence. Click here to access a free ADA website compliance checker.
Contact ADA Compliance Pros at (626) 486-2201 or by clicking here for more information on WCAG ADA site compliance testing or if you require any web accessibility resources.