Most business owners know that ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) applies to brick and mortar businesses. Many of the standards set out in the 1990 Act are expected today. Things like doors that open with a push-button, tables that have areas for wheelchairs, bathrooms with a wheelchair-specific stall, handicapped parking, wheelchair ramps, and more.
These guidelines help business owners create an atmosphere that is accessible for everyone.
When the ADA became law in 1990, the Online world was in its infancy. It has grown to become a significant part of most businesses. Often we do not think about how challenging it is for a blind person to navigate a website. This is just one example. There are no actual guidelines for websites.
Currently, a website as a public area for a business is being challenged. If the Supreme Court deems that websites are public areas, then all the rules and guidelines set by the ADA will apply.
Is your website ready?
Are you at risk of getting sued?
Over the past few years, the number of lawsuits over noncompliant websites has kept growing. Business owners do not think about making their websites easy to use for EVERYONE.
If you want to read about some of the companies that have already been sued, and have lost, check out this article.
Where does this leave websites?
As you might have guessed, there are no clear ADA regulations for websites. Some courts deem websites as public areas for businesses, and others have not made that ruling. Once the Supreme Court makes an official ruling, things will be more precise. It is safest to take the stance that your website is a public area for your business.
Why would you want to exclude anyone from using your services or buying your products if you think about it? Being an early adopter and putting some effort into making your website ADA compliant will make your business stand out.