The Hidden Cost of Your Website You Never Considered

The Lesson Many Businesses Learned The Hard Way

The Americans With Disabilities Act provides for accomidations for people with disabilities. Most often people think of the typical issues like wheelchair ramps or handicapped accesible restrooms for employees and customers. But there are other non physical items that can bring the full weight of the legislation down on your business.

During the past several years many businesses have been targeted due to the fact their website is not accessible. That's right, your website must meet certain criteria to be compliant with the ADA. This can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and also damage your brand in the process.

This 7 minute video highlights the reasons for developing an accessible site.

Enhance Your Brand and Extend Your Reach

Today the internet is a vast resource and provides an opportunity to those who have barriers that may be limited permenantly or temporarily by a physical or mental disability. Failing to address the accessibility of your website can block access to individuals who are unable to adequately use your site.

There are several advantages to having an accessible site:

  • Removing barriers allows more people to use your site and increases the potential audience
  • Compliant sites are more search engine friendly
  • Minimize the risk of legal action related to people with disabilities

What Can You Do

The best and most cost effective answer is to incorporate web accessibility into your design when developing your site. Keeping this in mind during the development phase will save time in the future. There are a variety of resources available on the internet that can guide you through the process.

If you are not developing the site internally you should consider including this as a part of the the development process and ensure that the team you choose can provide an accessible site.

If your site has already been developed it's not too late. Although this can be an involved process it is possible to handle it in stages. Focusing on the most important areas first will make a difference and reduce the risk of legal action.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions

Well, the primary benefit is it can save you thousands of dollars in legal expenses, but there are also other other benefits.

The market of disabled people using the web has been estimated at 350 billion dollars and it is growing. Ignoring this will most likely exclude you from these internet users. Even if they do use your site it's likely they will get frustrated and move on to a competitor.

The techniques used to make your site more accessible also help the search engine bots, so it will help your ranking. If you don't appear in the search results you won't get new visitors to your site.

If you are skeptical about how serious this issue is and the potential for legal action here are a few of the many YouTube videos below. There is no shortage of content on the internet related to the issue.

Web developers unaware of ADA accessibility standards, business owners face lawsuits

Watch the video

Growing number of lawsuits over ADA website accessibility

Watch the video

Window to the Law: ADA and Website Accessibility Update

Watch the video

It really depends on several things. If you are still planning the site, there will be a little extra effort, but this is the best case scenario. If your site is already live the type of technology used to code the site and the number of pages will affect the amount of time and effort.

This isn't something that you have to do yourself. There are a number of businesses that can provide services to assist in getting you compliant. The first step is to assess how far you need to go to reach the goal.

There are three levels in the standard. Each level has additional requirements and you can choose the level that will meet your needs. Any attempt to improve the accessibility will reduce your risk. Request our free report to get additional details.

It is the process of making a website or other digital technology usable by an individual with a disability. This could be a physical, mental, visual or auditory disability. It allows this individual to use the digital item in a manner that fits their needs. This can include things like a screen reader for the visually impaired, keyboard shortcuts for someone who is unable to use a mouse or a variety of other items.