Even before lockdowns and quarantines, Internet use worldwide was steadily increasing. Today’s reality has dramatically accelerated this trend as many can’t function without digital access to work, shop, and connect with the world.
Another pre-Covid-19 trend was lawsuits against websites for failing to be accessible according to ADA or WCAG accessibility standards. This trend will also likely increase as more people with disabilities spend more time online. And what are these people finding? Massive numbers of sites that are not usable by those with visual impairment or physical disabilities. Not only does this open up businesses to costly lawsuits, but it’s also a form of discrimination.
Cases In The Thousands
Over the years, tens of thousands of businesses from small & medium brands to some of the biggest names in the world have been involved in ADA website accessibility lawsuits. What was their mistake? They had sites that could not be used by people who require special techniques or devices (such as screen readers) to navigate a webpage.
Many aspects of your site could be preventing people with disabilities from accessing the information, goods, or services you offer. Let’s take a look at some of the most common culprits.
Not on the Menu
How can a person navigate your site menu if they can’t use a mouse due to physical disability? One of the ways is to use the TAB, arrows, and Enter keys to move from title to title. Still, if your website isn’t configured correctly, this won’t work. Some estimates show that over 90 percent of sites may have menus that can’t be navigated with keyboard commands.
Poor Image Quality
We’re not talking about pixels here. If you have an image on your site, and a visitor is blind, how do they know what the image represents? Screen reading technology “sees” the image alt attribute and communicates this information to the user. However, if the description is missing, your visitor has no notion about the image. Nearly half of websites fail at making images accessible to those with visual impairment.
Popups Not Up to Snuff
If your site has a popup, it should also be navegable by the TAB key. Also, anyone should be able to close the popup with the ESC key. Imagine if you landed on a site and had no way of closing a popup that appears. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Way Out of Form
Nearly two thirds of websites with forms are out of compliance with accessibility standards. Here again, screen readers and proper coding labels are critical for the form to be useful for those with disability. If they can’t fill out your contact or sales form, what’s the point?
Over 80 percent of websites may have non-compliant buttons when it comes to accessibility. For example, all website buttons should have text, a title, or an attribute called an aria-label. If they don’t know what a button is for, how do they know if they should click on it or not?
Almost a quarter of all websites may have link problems. Like buttons, all links should contain text, a title, or an aria-label. You should also be able to reach the link with keyboard navigation, such as toggling with the TAB key. Plus, the link text should be easily distinguishable from normal, non-linked text.
Just A Hassle?
Some might think that all of this is just an unnecessary headache. But think about it. How would you feel if a large number of your favorite websites were no longer readable to you? Or what if you needed to order groceries or other goods online, and you couldn’t? Doesn’t sound fair, does it? For this reason, the courts have ruled in favor of plaintiffs, time and time again, in website accesbillity discrimination lawsuits.
It’s Easier Than You Think
Instead of piling more work onto your IT staff, providers such as Adally can help you with website accessibility. Not only can you avoid legal problems, but you also enable anyone who visits your site to get the most out of it. That’s good for them and good for your business.
Want to find out fast if your website has accessibility issues? Get a free Top Level Homepage Scan & Report today.