ADA Compliance

Accessibility • Accountability • Empathy

For more than 30 years the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) has governed how businesses provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This includes digital media like websites. In 2010 the Department of Justice updated the ADA standards for accessible design to maintain accountability. These stipulate that all electronic technology must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The 2010 update does not unequivocally stipulate which websites are required to comply - The DoJ left it up to the courts. Currently, people are suing corporations if their websites are not sufficiently accessible or understood. There are many things a website designer must bear in mind as they create a new site. Evolve's designers have been in the business for over 20 years and know, from the ground up, what goes into laying out a website and providing for individuals with visual, dexterity and hearing disabilities.

If you want to know more, check out this site: ADA Standards for Accessible DesignOpens a new window. Additionally in the graphic below are several of the small things that we code. If you don't understand the graphic or it all seems very difficult, hire us - we live it all.

Accessibility and Accountability go hand in hand with Empathy. Empathy means getting connected to people. When you get connected to people, you can sell to them. Ergo Accessibility means money in your pocket.

Have you been served?

Evolve creates websites that follow the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards and are thereby ADA compliant. We understand the levels of ADA compliance, and can ensure you meet a minimum standard. We can also redo, modify or overhaul your existing website to become fully accessible. This can often can be a long process, but we're in it with you as your site becomes compliant. Then we will help it stay compliant as your living website continues to change and grow over time. Let us partner with you as you provide content, products, and/or services to everyone.

You may not know that the last census listed 40 million Americans as disabled. Just to put that into perspective, there are slightly fewer than 10 million people living in the state of Michigan. If you're not providing accessibility that's a huge market you are ignoring.

Before you say "it looks fine to me", copy your web address and paste into this service: Website Accessibility TestOpens a new window.

If you have been served, you can still mitigate your exposure by hiring a firm like Evolve Solutions that understands the rules and applies them immediately. We don't have to do it all at once, however. We just need to get it started and show a course of action and monetary outlay towards empathizing for people with disabilities and that you are working toward ADA compliance.

Empathy → Connection = $  

If you have empathy for persons with disabilities, you will see revenue increase. If you become compliant Google will rank your site higher. So Accessibility = dollars. An investment in your website will do three things:

  1. Keep you from being sued
  2. Rank you higher on search
  3. Increase your revenue
  4. Sell to more people

Let Evolve Solutions help you increase your revenue and save you many dollars as well.

images must have an alt tag
Image Alt Text:
All images site wide must have descriptive alternate text.
headers in logical order
Headers should be in logical order (eg. h1, h2, h3...).
website must be navigable by a keyboard
Keyboard Navigation:
Websites must be navigable by keyboard alone.
Use captioning in movies
All video and audio content must have captioning.
format lists correctly
Format lists with proper <ul>, <ol>, and </dd> tags. You can't use div tags within lists.
don't use flashing graphics
No Flashing Graphics:
These can cause seizures in some individuals. They will have trouble buying from you if they are seizing.
fully accessible forms
Accessible Forms:
Use descriptive, well-positioned labels for each field in your forms.
use a pause button
Pause Option:
When using carousels and other moving elements, have a pause button.
format tables
Properly format tables, using descriptive column and row headers.

Things to bear in mind

  • Who actually needs to be compliant? If you sell online (ecommerce), accept money from the government, or are in higher education, you can be sued. Some judges have ruled that all websites must be compliant. So if your company is perceived to not empathize with people with disabilities and has a lot of capital to chase... you could be sued. No company is actually immune if out of compliance.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) lists 61 guidelines for compliance. Above you'll see several to start. If you don't know how to accomplish, call us.
  • Greater than two thousand, of the more than 10,000 ADA lawsuits, filed in federal court in 2018, were against businesses that individuals deemed not in compliance with digital statutes, including Winn-Dixie, Beyonce, Peet's Coffee and 50 colleges such as Cornell, Loyola University New Orleans and Vanderbilt. We don't have final numbers for 2019 yet, but 2018's numbers were triple 2017. A brief search reveals hundreds of news articles across the United States where entities' websites were sitting ducks for lawsuits. The last number we saw from December of 2019 was 2,235 new website lawsuits were filed. They also listed that the rate of filing was at one per hour. The date of the report was December 18th, so at that rate, and taking into account Christmas and new year's eve, there would have been at least 3,000 lawsuits in 2019, which is up 133 percent over 2018.

    Additionally the 2019 number may not have risen to double or triple the 2018 numbers due to plaintiff lawyers waiting for the Supreme Court to decide not to hear the Domino's case.
2019 lawsuits by week in the last quarter of the year graphic

Why Use Evolve for ADA Compliance?

As a user experience design society, we need strong empathy towards all users of the interfaces and applications we build regardless of handicap. At Evolve we wouldn't knowingly release a project that couldn't be accessed by screen-reading software. The first step in ensuring that doesn't happen is empathy towards users who rely on such software to navigate the web. Why use Evolve Solutions for your next web project? We have empathy for all web users - We are probably going to be less expensive than the companies on the coasts - We've been doing this more than 20 years. There are some companies that are starting to do ADA sites, but if they did your site originally - and it wasn't compliant, did you really want them figuring it out on your website? So to reiterate:

  1. Compassionate
  2. Competitive price
  3. Comprehension of the standards.

... and we're   Level Triple-A conformance,
            W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0   compliant!