ADA Compliance – Don’t Get caught up in legal!

If you’re a business owner that cares about making sales and happy customers, you might have a well-designed and up-to-date website for your eCommerce store. Seems simple enough. However, the real question you should be asking yourself is: how can my website fully functional for all types of customers that might be visiting?

The last thing any business owner wants to do is inadvertently turn away customers based on stipulations they might not know about. This is why ADA compliance is super important to 1) know about and 2) enact in your eCommerce store.

One good reason is that you won’t be sidelined with a lawsuit, brought to court, and end up paying hefty fines. But, more importantly, you won’t be accidentally discriminating against your clientele with varying disabilities and forfeiting potential sales.

What is ADA?  The Americans With Disabilities Act is an important piece of legislation that was passed way back in 1990. It ensures accessibility for all citizens, even if they have a physical or mental impairment. This means that a citizen bound to a wheelchair should be able to access a public business with relative ease.

So this applies to public websites, too? Absolutely. To avoid a potential lawsuit, your eCommerce site should be fully ADA compliant, which entails a variety of specifications.

According to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) businesses need to be up-to-date with WCAG 2.1 Guidelines in order to be ADA compliant. This can be broken down into four main areas. Your eCommerce website needs to be…

Perceivable

If your site is fully perceivable, customers will be able to access: text alternatives, captions and other options for multimedia, content that can be presented in ways that are easier to see and hear.

Operable

Your website can be considered operable when: everything can be accessed from a keyboard, users have enough time to read and use content, your content won’t cause seizures or physical reactions, and your content is easily navigated and found by users.

Understandable

To make sure that the content on your website is understandable: text must be readable and comprehendible, content must appear and operate predictably, and users must be able to avoid and correct their mistakes.

Robust

Last but not least, robustness entails: making sure all tools and updates are able to accommodate these assistive features (because websites and technologies are constantly updating and going through changes).

These general guidelines are definitely helpful… and also crucial for you to be aware of as a business owner. Nobody wants to be sued, right? Title III of the ADA specifies that businesses that are open to the public can’t discriminate against citizens with disabilities and must accommodate their needs with basic accessibility. Even though this can be taken as actual physical stores, online retailers need to comply as well.

But also, being “in the know” about what is expected of you when it comes to ADA compliancy for online stores is essential for building a reputation as a trusted brand that provides access to all shoppers, regardless of physical or mental disabilities.

So now we have the basics down—you want easy website accessibility for all of your potential customers because you have a valued/socially responsible brand AND you don’t want to get sued. What are the next steps for you to take as a business owner?

Here at DigitlHaus, we put our trust in the one and only, accessiBe, for all of your ADA compliance needs. accessiBe is an innovative service that provides your shoppers with a website that is fully accessible, whatever disability or impairment they may have.

Before accessiBe, you could end up spending thousands of dollars by hiring developers to make sure your website is ADA compliant.

However, with accessiBe, a fully accessible website is as easy as a plug-in. The most up-to-date technology will make your website compliant with WCAG 2.1 guidelines and ensure the best service to your shoppers.

The technology works like this!

Full Scan of the Websites Structure

  1. Their AI scans your website’s structure
  2. Divides structure into its elements
  3. Creates layers of useful information for every “block” in the composition

Analysis and Deciphering of site Elements

  1. AI analyzes each block by matchmaking with other websites’ data blocks
  2. AI “plays” with the elements
  3. AI checks what happens when specific elements are enacted

Activating Accessibility via the Interface

  1. Their system saves vital data
  2. System deploys accessiBe interface
  3. The disabled now can use this interface to adjust the website based on AI’s findings

Not only does the technology work, but it constantly undergoes scanning, analyzing, and deciphering of your website (every 48 hours!) This is to make sure that even if your website is going through updates, it will remain ADA compliant through their state of the art artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

*accessiBe in comparison to accessibility services and plug-ins

We at DigitlHaus also believe you can trust accessiBe because they care about citizens with varying disabilities—and that has always been at the forefront of their brand.

“accessiBe was planned, designed and developed in collaboration with people who suffer from various disabilities: blindness, epilepsy, cognitive dysfunctions, and more. This is to ensure that our system not only complies with the law but also that it’s an ideal solution for those who need it.”

Their web accessibility features help people affected by:

Blindness and Visual impairment – “Optimizing websites for screen readers using our AI and image recognition, in collaboration with Google and Clarifai.” and “color adjustments for the color blind, alterations of font size and type, spacing, emphases, large cursors, and more!”

Motor impairment – “Optimization for keyboard navigation used by people with Parkinson’s disease and other motor impairments.”

Elderly and cognitive impairment – “A built-in expression, slang, and phrases dictionary.”

Epilepsy – “Automatically and immediately stopping blinks and animations of all kinds in the click a button.”

If you’re not ADA compliant, and we’ve convinced you it’s time to update your website, reach out to us here. Since we at DigitlHaus are integration partners with accessiBe, if you need to become ADA compliant, we can audit and analyze your website and integrate this awesome service for you. Don’t wait too long though. It’s not worth the risk!