Did you know that one in five adults in the United States has a disability?
People with disabilities need the internet for daily living, as we all do. Making the web accessible is the right thing to do – and it increases reach and potential for everyone.
Now, thanks to the landmark Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores ruling in June, web accessibility has become even more important. Businesses without accessible websites and mobile apps run a greater risk of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Get started with these steps and reduce your legal risk today.
Why Winn-Dixie Matters To You
The court ruled that the Winn-Dixie’s inaccessible website violated Title III of the ADA, siding with a blind man who was unable to use screen-reader software with the store’s website. This landmark ruling could have implications for future lawsuits, and it sets an important precedent for other digital accessibility cases.
Three Steps To Take Right Now
Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.
- Consider the benefits. Web accessibility provides access and opportunity to those of varying abilities. But it also ties in with steps you may already be taking to create a great user experience, improve device compatibility, optimize SEO and increase your marketing reach. There are benefits at many levels.
- Check out WCAG 2.0. The Winn-Dixie ruling dictated that the company must adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines are becoming the “gold standard” for digital accessibility. Making sure your websites and apps comply with WCAG 2.0 guidelines are your best way to minimize legal risk for now.
- Implement best practices. With the right planning and attention, accessibility doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. It’s all about making changes to ensure design and content works for disabled users, whether they have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities. For a great quick resource, visit our feature on the topic, Website Accessibility 101, and start with the accessible web design best practices checklist.