Years ago I did ADA compliance for a website. It was an enormous pain—not worth it! However ... I have recently made my own website ADA compliant, and it went a lot better this time—totally worth it!
You'll notice the little wheel chair icon to the bottom right of the screen. If you click on it, there are loads and loads of customization options. You can manipulate the site to your own viewing pleasure. The best part, though, are the profiles up top. Whether a client is prone to seizure or getting distracted, has trouble seeing or reading, can't use a mouse or even see at all, this website should be accessible to them.
You should consider making your website accessible as well. Here's why.
It might be legally required.
Laws are confusing, and I'm not a lawyer. But a few things are definitely clear.
- ADA Title III applies to businesses, including nonprofits, that serve the public.1
- ADA Title III requires businesses to provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the goods or services that they offer.2
- ADA Title III considers communication as an essential part of providing service to the public (including people with disabilities).3
- ADA Title III only specifically exempts Religious organizations and Private clubs.
So, if you are a business and your website is a means by which you serve the public, properly communicating with them through your website is technically a legal requirement!
It doesn't seem to matter if you're a big company or a mom-and-pop. In fact, the lawsuits seem to be based on industry rather than company size. For instance, a suit will be brought against a boutique's website. The plaintiff wins, and the floodgates are opened! Lawyers who advocate for people with disabilities start filing again every boutique they can find, pointing to the first case a precedent.
I don't say this to fearmonger—you may be just fine. But, I (for one) am a rule follower, and (as near as I can tell) it's legally required for me to make my website accessible. It's probably required for you too.
It is helpful to many of your clients
Even if it weren't legally required, I still would have done it because I believe it is helpful to many of my clients. It will probably be helpful to many of yours.
It's easy to think that none of our clients would find our websites difficult. (Heck, that's why you pay so much money to get them built!) But the ADA compliance guidelines were established with many people in mind.
Do you have clients who have ...
- degrading eyesight
- or autism?
Twenty-six percent of adult Americans have some type of disability.6 Making your website ADA compliant is good for them!
So, whether it is legally required or not, I think making my website more accessible is good for my clients. It's probably good for your clients too.
It is good for business
The bottom line is the bottom line. We are businesses, after all. There are lots of good things that we can do for our clients—and I'm sure you do plenty! But these are still business decisions that we're making here. If it's not good for business, well ...
But I believe it is good for business! It just makes sense that if a fourth of the population struggles to experience your website, making it more accessible increases your potential audience by 33%. But it gets better.
The 26% of the population don't live in a commune, separated from the rest of society—thank goodness! They are vital members of our community, churches and homes. This means that though only 26% of our population is "afflicted" with a disability (pardon the terminology), more than half of our population is impacted by disabilities.
Read that list above, and ask if you personally know anyone who struggles with those issues.
I do! I have family members who struggle with these issues, and (quite frankly) I appreciate businesses that do things that are good for the people I care about.
I believe that making my website more accessible is going to be good for my business. It will probably be good for your business too.
If you want me to help you with that—even if you're not a client of mine—just let me know.