Website Accessibility & Compliance: Protect Your Business from Legal Risks & Lawsuits

Your website is more than just a platform for your business—it’s the gateway to inclusivity, innovation, and compliance. In today’s ever-evolving digital world, ensuring that your website is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities, isn’t just a good practice—it’s a legal requirement. Here’s why prioritizing website accessibility can save your business from lawsuits and unlock new opportunities for growth. 

Understanding Website Accessibility

Website accessibility isn’t just about making your site look nice—it’s about leveling the playing field so that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can navigate, interact with, and understand your online content. Guided by principles such as perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness, compliant websites provide a seamless experience for all users.

Curious about what a compliant website can do for individuals with disabilities? Explore the benefits a compliant website offers by simply tapping on the person icon at the bottom of your screen. 

Legal Requirements

Alright, let’s talk shop about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which mandate that websites be accessible. The ADA mandates equal access to content for individuals with disabilities, while the WCAG provides both guidelines and standards to ensure that digital content is accessible to all users. 

Failure to comply can result in costly lawsuits and penalties. So, in order to steer towards smoother seas, it’s important to prioritize website accessibility and adhere to the ADA and WCAG guidelines. By doing so, not only do you mitigate the risk of legal repercussions, but you also enhance user experience, foster inclusivity, and bolster your brand’s reputation.

Rising Lawsuits and the Small Business Dilemma

ADA Lawsuit Chart Depicting ADA Title III Website Accessibility Lawsuits in Federal Court. 2020: 2,523 , 2021: 2,895 , 2022: 3,255 , 2023: 4,605

In recent years, the digital landscape has witnessed a surge in lawsuits targeting small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) due to inaccessible websites. These legal actions, often initiated by consumers with disabilities who are unable to navigate such sites, have become increasingly prevalent. Federal website accessibility lawsuits in the United States alone soared to 4.6K in 2023, marking a staggering 43% surge compared to 2022.

The trend of lawsuits targeting smaller companies, with 73% of cases directed at businesses generating less than $25M in revenue in 2023, reflects a shifting legal landscape. Why go for the bigger fish that have already faced litigation and thus implemented accessibility initiatives when you can go for the smaller businesses? As an SMB owner, it’s imperative to recognize that a portion of your potential customer base comprises individuals with disabilities.

Multiple businesses across America have closed due to these lawsuits and the fees and penalties that follow. By ensuring your website is accessible to all, you can avoid these legal woes. Not sure if your website is accessible? Prismo Marketing offers a free comprehensive accessibility assessment to evaluate your website’s compliance with ADA, WCAG, and other accessibility standards. Be a step ahead of the game and protect your business with Prismo’s free Accessibility Assessment.

The Importance of Proactive Measures

By prioritizing accessibility, you demonstrate your commitment to serving all customers, regardless of their abilities. This not only enhances your brand’s reputation but also opens up new avenues for growth by tapping into previously underserved markets. 

Moreover, accessibility features often benefit all users, not just those with disabilities. For example, captions in videos not only assist users who are deaf or hard of hearing but also benefit users in noisy environments or those who prefer reading content discreetly. 

Practical Steps to Ensure Website Accessibility

Now that we’ve established the importance of website accessibility, let’s delve into some practical steps you can take to ensure compliance and inclusivity: 

  • Sign up for an Accessibility Assessment: Start by evaluating your website’s current accessibility status. You’re in luck—Prismo Marketing offers a free Accessibility Assessment to find out if your website is compliant.
  • Implement Accessibility Features: Incorporate features such as alt text for images, keyboard navigation, and semantic HTML to enhance accessibility.
  • Provide Training: Educate your team on accessibility best practices to ensure that new content and updates maintain compliance standards.
  • Regular Maintenance: Accessibility isn’t a one-time fix; it requires ongoing attention. Schedule regular audits and updates to keep your website accessible.
  • Seek Professional Assistance: If you’re unsure about the accessibility of your website or need guidance, consider partnering with accessibility experts like Prismo Marketing for comprehensive assessments and solutions. 

By taking these proactive steps, you not only mitigate legal risks but also create a more inclusive and user-friendly online environment for everyone. 

The Future of Accessibility

As technology continues to evolve, so will the expectations surrounding website accessibility. Embracing accessibility today not only safeguards your business against legal liabilities but also positions you at the forefront of innovation and customer-centricity. 

In the coming years, accessibility will become even more integral to digital experiences, driven by evolving regulations, technological advancements, and shifting societal norms. By staying ahead of the curve and prioritizing accessibility now, you not only future-proof your business but also contribute to a more equitable and inclusive online ecosystem. 

At Prismo Marketing, our comprehensive suite of services covers everything for a standout digital brand. From crafting visually stunning and user-friendly websites to boosting online visibility with results-driven SEO, we ensure discoverability and engagement. Our experts collaborate to create a memorable and cohesive brand image, incorporating creative Graphic Design that makes a visual impact, from logos to marketing collateral. Additionally, streamline your business processes with seamless HubSpot CRM integration. At Prismo Marketing, we’re here to turn your digital aspirations into a reality. Ready to elevate your online presence? Contact us today, and let’s get started on propelling your brand to new heights.

2024-06-07T13:55:45-04:00March 19, 2024|Websites|

Share This Story

Go to Top