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Avoiding Lawsuits with ADA Compliance

While business owners are familiar with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in their facilities, they may not be aware that they could be hit with a lawsuit if their website isn’t in ADA compliance. In 2017, Winn-Dixie was sued because their website was not accessible by those that are visually impaired. 

Why Was Winn-Dixie Sued For ADA Compliance?

According to the court documents, plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil is a legally blind individual with cerebral palsy. While he’s able to use a computer, he doesn’t have the ability to see the screen and relies on programs like JAWS and other screen readers to help him understand what a company is offering through their website. 

The documents to go on to state the great lengths Gil goes through to utilize the internet to its fullest potential. However, he has experienced problems with Winn-Dixie’s website in relation to re-filling prescriptions and using coupons. Only about 10% of the pages on the website worked with JAWS. 

Considering Gil has used the screen reader software for hundreds of other sites, he felt that Winn-Dixie wasn’t considering those that are disabled. Also, the site is able to integrate with many other third parties like Google is able to integrate with the site. He made the case that they should make certain that screenreading software can integrate as well. This led to him filing the lawsuit and winning the case. The judge ruled that since Winn-Dixie’s loyalty program had to be used online only, he ruled in Gil’s favor. 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 

In June of 2018, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were put into place to help website creators and business owners understand what it will take to stay compliant. These guidelines were put into place to help organizations understand how to best serve those that are disabled. 

What is Involved in an ADA Compliant Website? 

There are a few things you should make sure you are doing on your website to keep in ADA compliance. This checklist includes: 

1. The Website

Aside from the fact that Google is now indexing mobile-first, having a mobile responsive website will help you stay compliant. It should be well laid out and easy to use. 

2. Videos

When you place videos on your site, you should have closed-captioning for the hearing impaired. Also, the sound controls should function so that someone can turn it up as high as they need. 

3. Text

In order to best serve the visually impaired, the text should be 16 pixels at a minimum. If you are talking about sales and promotions, make sure that there is a high contrast between the text and background. Higher contrast makes it easier for people to read. 

4. Images

When you upload images to your media gallery, you should write a description of the image in the alt text. That information is used by screen reading software. Also, use descriptive tags to get the point across. 

Contact us Today 

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