What Happens If Your Website Is Not ADA Compliant

By JJ Rosen February 8, 2023
ADA Compliance

If you know anything about ADA compliance for websites, you probably have asked yourself the question: What happens if your website is not ADA compliant? Since we work with clients to ensure their website is compliant, we can help you understand the risks of non-compliance.

What Happens If Your Website Is Not ADA Compliant

If a website is not ADA compliant, it can lead to legal action. If a person with a disability is unable to access information on a website, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Additionally, businesses that are not ADA compliant may be subject to fines from the Department of Justice. They may also incur costs associated with making their website ADA compliant.

If that sounds scary to you, that’s because it really is…

Website Accessibility Lawsuits

Many companies have fallen victims to lawsuits due to their website accessibility limitations. The following ones may surprise you.

  1. Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. Robles (2020): The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case regarding whether a website is considered a place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiff claimed that the company’s website was not accessible to individuals with disabilities, violating the ADA.
  2. Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (2018): The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a case where the plaintiff claimed that Winn-Dixie’s website was not accessible to individuals with visual disabilities, in violation of the ADA.
  3. National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp. (2006): Target Corporation faced a class-action lawsuit for not having an accessible website for individuals with visual disabilities. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the company’s website was a place of public accommodation and was therefore required to be accessible under the ADA.

Just because the above lawsuits were from large corporations, it doesn’t mean smaller businesses won’t get into trouble.

  1. Gaither v. J. Alexander’s LLC (2017): A deaf individual sued J. Alexander’s, a restaurant chain, alleging that their website was not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, violating the ADA.
  2. McLaughlin v. Bantam Bagels, LLC (2017): A visually impaired individual sued Bantam Bagels, a bakery and café, claiming that their website was not accessible to individuals with disabilities, in violation of the ADA.

Settlements for ADA Compliant Websites

The stress of going through court proceedings is enough, but it doesn’t come close to the monetary repercussions of the suit.

Some settlements can be as low as a few thousand dollars, while others can reach several million dollars. In many cases, businesses may also agree to make changes to their website and implement accessibility measures in addition to paying a settlement.

It’s important to note that the primary goal of ADA website compliance lawsuits is to ensure that businesses make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities, rather than to seek monetary damages. In some cases, businesses may be able to avoid a lawsuit by proactively addressing and remedying accessibility issues on their websites.

How to Know If Your Site Meets ADA Standards

It is important to understand that meeting ADA standards is not a one-time process; rather, it is an ongoing effort to ensure your website is accessible to all users.

To ensure compliance, it is important to regularly monitor and evaluate your website for any changes that may affect the accessibility of your site for all visitors. It is also important to review any changes to ADA standards and update your website accordingly. Automated tools and testing procedures are a good idea to review your site for compliance. This will help ensure that all content is optimized to follow ADA guidelines.

What Happens If Your Website Is Not ADA Compliant

Having a website is essential in today’s digital world, but it can come with consequences if not done correctly. Designing a website that meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can seem intimidating at first, but understanding the risks associated with not being ADA compliant can help make it easier to recognize its importance. In this article, we’ll explore what happens if your website fails to meet the ADA compliance standards and why it should be taken seriously.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 to ensure equal access for people with disabilities. This act requires businesses and organizations to provide reasonable accommodations for those who may need them due to disability or impairment. Unfortunately, many websites fail to meet these standards, leaving them open to potential legal action or fines.

Not being ADA compliant can also have an effect on a website’s search engine rankings, as well as its reputation among customers and potential clients. It’s important for all business owners and web designers to understand the implications of not meeting ADA standards so they can make sure their sites are up-to-date and compliant with the current regulations. By taking care of this issue now, businesses can save themselves time and money in the long run while ensuring everyone has equal access to their website.

What Is ADA Compliance?

ADA compliance, also known as the Americans with Disabilities Act, is a set of federal regulations that require businesses to make accommodations for customers and employees with disabilities. These guidelines are designed to ensure that people with disabilities can access and use websites, products, and services just like any other customer or employee. In short, ADA compliance means making sure that your website is accessible to those with physical or mental impairments.

For businesses, failing to adhere to ADA compliance can result in serious legal repercussions. This includes hefty fines and even lawsuits from individuals who have experienced discrimination due to a lack of accessibility. Additionally, having an ADA compliant website can strengthen your brand image by showing customers and employees that you are an inclusive business who values diversity in all forms. Ultimately, adhering to ADA compliance is essential for any business that wants to stay on the right side of the law and maintain a positive reputation.

Who Does The ADA Protect?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that protects disabled individuals from discrimination in public accommodations. It requires businesses and other organizations to make their websites and mobile applications accessible to people with disabilities, so they can have equal access to the services they offer. This means that ADA compliance is essential for any website or app—if it isn’t compliant, then disabled users may not be able to access your website or app as easily as everyone else.

The ADA protects disabled users by requiring companies to meet certain requirements when it comes to making their digital products accessible. These requirements might include providing alternative text descriptions for images, adding captions for audio and video content, having clear navigation and labels, among others. Companies must ensure that their websites and apps are designed in such a way that all users, regardless of disability, can access them with ease. Failing to comply with the ADA can result in legal action taken against the company.

Adhering to the ADA’s standards for web accessibility will help create an inclusive environment where all users can access your website and apps without difficulty, thus providing a more satisfactory experience for all visitors.

What Is Title III Of The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a crucial regulation protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. It requires that businesses and other organizations provide access to goods, services, and information for people with disabilities at the same level as non-disabled people. This includes having an ADA compliant website if applicable.

When it comes to ADA regulations, Title III specifically outlines requirements for websites; it states that all businesses, including those without a physical location, must make their website accessible to disabled users. If a website is not ADA compliant, the business may face legal action from the Department of Justice or private organizations representing disabled individuals. Failure to comply can carry significant financial penalties and reputational damage. Therefore, it is important for businesses to ensure their websites are ADA compliant in order to avoid potential issues down the line.

What Are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are international guidelines that help ensure web content is accessible to people of all abilities. Following the WCAG guidelines can make websites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and ensure that users of all abilities can access and understand the content on a website.

The WCAG guidelines cover a wide range of issues, from how content should be structured to how it should appear visually. They also outline criteria for testing a website’s accessibility. Developers must meet certain criteria in order for their websites to be deemed ADA-compliant. It’s important for developers to keep up-to-date with the latest WCAG guidelines so that their websites remain compliant with the ADA.

In order to create an accessible website, developers must adhere to the latest WCAG standards. This ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to access and understand web content, regardless of ability or disability.

What Steps Should Businesses Take To Avoid ADA Litigation?

Business websites need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to avoid legal action, and Title II of the ADA establishes guidelines for accessibility. For businesses, this means they must ensure their website is ADA compliant to prevent litigation. There are several steps a business can take to ensure it meets ADA requirements, including creating an accessible website design, incorporating assistive technologies and providing alternative content formats.

For example, a business should use captions and audio descriptions for video content and provide transcripts for audio recordings. All images should include alternative text describing the image or its purpose on the page. Business owners should also ensure that interactive elements like menus, forms, and buttons are properly labeled so users can understand how to interact with them effectively.

To further reduce the risk of litigation, business owners should also hire an ADA compliance expert who can audit their website for any issues and suggest changes that may be needed to make it fully compliant. This simple step can help organizations avoid costly legal action due to ADA violations.

How Atiba Can Help Protect Your Site from ADA Compliance Lawsuits

At Atiba, we offer comprehensive ADA website compliance services to ensure that your website is fully accessible to all users, regardless of their ability. Our team of experts will conduct a thorough ADA audit of your website to identify any potential barriers to accessibility and provide recommendations for how to fix them.

Contact us to learn more about an ADA compliance audit for your site.

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