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Why Website Developers Need To Test For Accessibility

Private litigants are filing more and more lawsuits against businesses alleging that the business’ website is not accessible, and is in violation of the ADA.

According to a recent article:

“People with disabilities are filing hundreds of complaints each year to vendors that have a strong online presence and provide supplemental services via websites and mobile applications that don’t comply with modern WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards. According to Law360, over 240 federal ADA website compliance lawsuits were filed in 2016 alone. As stated by Seyfarth Shaw, the trend continued through 2017 with an astonishing 814 ADA website accessibility lawsuits filed. A more recent Seyfarth Shaw Synopsis states that web accessibility cases filed to federal court showed no signs of stopping during the first 6 months of 2018 and there have already been at least 1053 ADA lawsuits filed. Most of them were coming from California, New York and Florida residents with disabilities.”

The Justice Department has adopted an international standard when addressing the accessibility of websites – WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), and has used WCAG to determine if there is a violation of the ADA. Unfortunately, many web designers do not adequately focus on the accessibility of the website, when coding the website, and create websites which violate the law.

Many focus on the marketing of the website, without properly addressing use of the website by visitors with disabilities. Some engage in automated testing of the site to assess accessibility problems, but in doing so, miss many problems, and do not engage in manual testing or use of adaptive technology to test the site.

As a result, the website is not accessible to users who are blind, or deaf, or have other disabilities that make it difficult to navigate the site. Without the proper coding, and proper testing of the site, blind users who utilize screen readers cannot access parts of the site, deaf users cannot access videos that are improperly captioned (or not captioned at all), and photographs remain inaccessible to users who are blind. Similarly, visitors with mobility disabilities cannot use the website absent coding that allows for their disability.

ADA Expertise Consulting, LLC, in collaboration with experts in the ADA and WCAG, offers testing that includes far more than simply using automated testing.

In addition to automated testing, we offer manual testing by experts, as well as testing using adaptive equipment, to identify a wide range of concerns. We then provide a comprehensive report, and work with your web developer to identify ways to fix the problems, thereby reducing your risk of litigation.

Call us to find out more, at 305-896-3000.