Is your brand or online business website accessible? If you answered yes, are you 100% sure on your decision?
The truth is, most site owners and businesses don’t truly understand what web accessibility is, and they often think it’s just a matter of making sure their site is online, or maybe even accessible on different mobile devices and tablets.
If this common theory also applies to you, then we highly advise you read on carefully!
What is Website Accessibility?
Despite what many people think, ‘web accessibility’ isn’t just on making sure your site or online business is accessible through the internet. Instead, it’s in reference to making sure your site, business and all offered services are accessible by everyone.
Popular brands like Netflix, the Sydney Olympics Games, Domino’s Pizza, Nike, and Amazon have all gotten in trouble for not having complex web accessibility on their sites. With this being the case, there’s probably a good chance that your site and online business also isn’t compliant.
And yesterday, RadioShack has joined the club.
With a lot of attention on the recent regulations and site ownership guidelines in place thanks to the The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), it’s now a requirement for all site owners and online businesses to cater to the needs of audiences that have special needs, disabilities and/or limitations when accessing a site.
While the laws themselves aren’t recently new, the attention and demand for such actions by site owners is. So, we ask again… is your site fully web accessible to all audiences?
What Happens When Your Site Isn’t Web Accessible?
Now that you know what ‘web accessibility’ is and how it plays a huge role in the way people visit, engage and use your website, it’s time to now cover what happens when your site isn’t compliant with ADA and WCAG guidelines, or accessible by all audiences.
1 – Legal Action Can Be Taken Against You!
One of the worst things that can happen to your site or online business, is having legal action taken against it. Unfortunately, we all know how lawyers and attorneys love to take advantage of any new opportunities where they can make a quick buck — and this is exactly what’s happening in the world of online business and how they are going after sites that aren’t fully web accessible.
Take a moment to Google anything like “web accessibility lawsuits” and you will find a lot of popular brand names and businesses that you currently know and love, all getting in legal trouble because their sites and online businesses weren’t accessible to those with disabilities or visual limitations.
While everyone has the right to use your site to the fullest extent, thanks to the latest regulations and guidelines put in place by the ADA and WCAG, now the lawsuits and demand letters are getting quite active as well.
2 – People Can’t Fully Use Your Site!
Outside of legal action, not having a fully compliant site is just bad business practice in that you are instantly eliminating a good amount of people from ever using your site or business.
A perfect example of this would be if you sold products online or had an ecommerce site. Sure, it probably looks nice to all audiences and is simple enough to use, but is it fully functional for those with limited vision or are hard of hearing and can’t watch your videos?
When considering the cost and process for making a site fully compliant and accessible by all audiences, it’s definitely not worth the risk of legal action and only limiting your site usage to a set audience.
3 – You are Damaging Your Brand Name and Reputation!
Third on the list is the potential damage and torn reputation of your personal name, your brand and overall business. Should your brand ever have to deal with legal issues in reference to not being compliant to all audiences, this is something that could end up in Google and ranking for your personal and business name for years to come.
And in reference to users not being able to use your site to its full potential, that’s definitely going to leave a bad first impression in the minds of your users. As we all know, when it comes to online reviews and customer feedback, it’s usually the negative ones that almost always get posted and go viral.
With something as simple as web accessibility controlling so much for your business, it’s surprising how many site owners and brands still don’t have the necessary settings in place.
How to Make Your Site 100% ADA/WCAG Compliant
Of the many different reasons why a site owner or online business might not have ADA and WCAG compliant sites, it’s often because they don’t know where or how to get started. The good news is, it’s a lot easier of a process than you might think.
Lead in web development and design Web Designer Depot says accessiBe is simple, fast and quite affordable to simply the problem. This is even more true when you consider the potential legal costs and damage the long term effects could have on your brand or business.
To get started, all you need to do is visit their site and sign up for a free trial. From here you will then be given access to their platform, where you can grab a special tracking pixel and line of code for your site.
This will allow for accessiBe to start the website accessibility implementation and web-application process for your site, which is broken down into the following steps.
- The accessibility interface instantly appears on your website
- AI starts scanning and analyzing your website
- After up to 48 hours, your website is fully compliant and certified
- Every 24 hours, the AI scans for new and revised content to fix
And once complete, any website can then become compliant with WCAG 2.1, ADA, Title III Section 508, and EAA/EN 301549 guidelines and regulations.
You can see a preview of how the Accessibility Application looks like in the screenshot below.
By having this option available for your site owners, they will also have the ability to modify different areas and components of your site to their needs. Such customization options include:
- Customize the interface colors
- Modify sizes and shapes
- Choose an icon out of 20+ options
- Position the icon wherever you prefer
- And more…
With so much attention on the ADA and WCAG guidelines in place, there was a much needed demand for a quick and easy solution for getting compliant, as creating a custom user interface or redesigning your website simply won’t get the job done.
While many businesses and brands are looking at web accessibility as a bad thing, it’s actually a win-win for everyone. Be sure to implement a working solution for your site or online business, so you never have to worry about an unexpected lawsuit, or the needs of your audience again.