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 at least 4 things:

  1. Could keep you from being sued
  2. Rank you higher on search
  3. Increase your revenue
  4. Help sell to more people

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

Alt Text image
Image Alt Text:
All images site wide must have descriptive alternate text.
headers in logical order
Headers:
Headers should be in logical order (eg. h1, h2, h3...).
image of a keyboard
Keyboard Navigation:
Websites must be navigable by keyboard alone.
Closed Captioning Logo
Captions:
All video and audio content must have captioning.
All media must have captioning or subtitles image
Lists:
Format lists with proper <ul>, <ol>, and </dd> tags. You can't use div tags within lists.
Use a pause button image
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
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 2,000 of the more than 10K 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 and Vanderbilt. 2018's numbers were triple 2017. A brief search reveals hundreds of news articles where entities' websites were sitting ducks for lawsuits. In 2019 greater than 2,200 new website lawsuits were filed. For many months they also listed that the rate of filing was at one per hour. Because Domino's petitioned the Surpreme Court, those numbers drastically slowed in September through mid November of 2019. The Supreme Court to decided not to hear the Domino's case. If that case hadn't caused pause for plantif attorneys, we could have seen at least 130 percent increase in 2019. According to AudioEye tracking 8 new lawsuits per day, for Digital ADA non-compliance, were filed in the first quarter of 2020. Again, like 2019, that's 1 per hour. These numbers do not account for the demand letters sent by attorneys accross the US.
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!