Zehnder Communications, Inc.

Is Your Website ADA-Compliant? Find Out Now (& Avoid Legal Fees)

The online world is all about accessibility these days — users want access to content anywhere, anytime, and on any device. As brands strive to make their websites available to all, many make the mistake of overlooking their website’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Created in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in public places — which, 27 years later, now includes the Internet.

Skimping on ADA-compliant web design is a costly mistake to make. In 2015, more than 240 businesses across the country were sued over website accessibility issues; in 2008, Target paid $10 million as part of a website accessibility class action suit brought on by the National Federation of the Blind.

As accessibility becomes more important in multiple industries ranging from healthcare to retail, it’s important that your brand takes steps to ensure your website is ADA-compliant. This includes assigning alternative text to all images, choosing color combinations with high contrast for colorblind users, making text large enough for visually impaired users as well as formatted properly for screen readers — just to name a few.

Although the government has yet to produce official ADA guidelines for the web, recent legal battles have relied on the privately created Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as the most comprehensive list of ADA-compliant features. With more than 50 requirements, WCAG 2.0 challenges even the best of digital designers.

One WCAG 2.0 requirement, for example, states that background sounds on a website must be at least 20 decibels lower than foreground speech content. Another requires that no object on your website can flash more than three times in one second. Most companies don’t have the in-house capacity to even research these requirements, let alone redesign their websites to actually meet the requirements.
Sound complicated? It is. Many brands aren’t sure where to start when it comes to ADA compliance, leading to costly delays in design — and, potentially, costly dates in court. 

Check your website for ADA compliance in minutes with our free testing tool, and identify which features of your website require an ADA redesign.


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