Website accessibility is more than just a buzzword. It’s a communication of values, a smart business move, and in the U.S. it’s the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees the right to equal access for people with disabilities, including the use of websites and smartphones. If businesses don’t comply and make their websites more accessible to everyone, they can face fines and lawsuits.
What is web accessibility?
It’s simple. All people must be able to access your business online. That means every visitor should be able to perceive, understand, navigate, interact and contribute to your website. You, as the website owner, must show due diligence in trying to get and stay accessible for people with disabilities, including:
- Visual – blindness, low vision, color blindness, etc.
1 in 4 Americans have a disability according to the CDC. The National Institute of Health details that one in eight people over 12 years old have hearing loss in both ears; also per the NIH, cases of vision impairment and blindless are expected to double by 2050. That’s a lot of people!
As an added benefit, everyone, not just people with disabilities, will have an easier time reading and interacting with your site, including:
- People using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
- Older people with changing abilities due to ageing
- People with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
- People with “situational limitations” such as in bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio
- People using a slow Internet connection, or who have limited or expensive bandwidth
ADA compliance has gone from “a nice thing to have” on your site to an essential part of keeping your doors open and your audience happy.
What are the other benefits of investing in web accessibility?
Gain new customers
The first one should be common sense. If more people can experience your site, more people can interact with your business. The more people interacting with your business online, more people will purchase your goods and services, leading to a bigger bottom line and more profits.
Boost your web traffic and visibility
Increased eyes on your site also boosts your rankings on search engines, and so does website accessibility. By following accessibility guidelines, you actually improve how your site works and give your Google rankings a boost. These changes make it more likely that your site will appear closer to the top of Google’s search results. As you know, boosting your SEO can grow your revenue and improve your website’s reach
A lawsuit due to website non-compliance with the ADA can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars, and the lawsuits can stack. Lawsuits related to website accessibility are becoming more and more common, especially with the rise of serial litigators who actively seek out sites to target. Fortunately, the benefits of avoiding a lawsuit with an ADA-compliant website are much more cost-effective than paying damages and legal fees.
Possible tax breaks
The federal government has tax credits for small businesses to write off their ADA compliance expenditures.
If you’re making less than $1 million in revenue or employ less than 30 people at your company, fill out IRS Form 8826, or Disabled Access Credit. You can expect up to 50% off your expenditures if they’re between $250 and $10,000. That said, we’re not accountants, so we can’t tell you the nitty-gritty about how to file. Talk to your CPA about how to file if you invest in ADA-compliance this year!
Is my website accessible?
CLICK HERE to request a FREE detailed website accessibility compliance report.
My site isn’t compliant! Now what?
If you run a complete scan and find non-compliance/issues, here’s what you should do now:
Smart Link Solution’s new Smart Accessibility service can make your website accessible to people with disabilities and reduce your liability to lawsuits.
Cost: $500 per year / One time $50 setup fee
- Our technology will automatically scan and correct your website code to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- We’ll add assistive technology to help users with disabilities read and interact with your site, including screen-reader and keyboard navigation adjustments – To see it in action go to smartlinksolutions.com and click on the wheelchair icon on the bottom left
- We’ll create a website accessibility statement page
- If needed, our service will provide a litigation support package for your attorney
CLICK HERE to request a FREE detailed website accessibility compliance report. If you’re not compliant don’t wait, call (248) 684-0500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss our Smart Accessibility Service.