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Does Your Law Firm Website Need to be ADA-Compliant?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_269620724.jpgWhen a company creates a website for their business, they often are most concerned about the accuracy of the included information and if the design reflects their brand. It may not seem important to consider if the site is easily accessible to a person with disabilities. However, websites that do not feature certain accommodations may face harsh penalties, and the business may be deemed discriminatory. 

What is ADA Compliance?

In 1990, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act was passed to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This act requires businesses to accommodate customers who may require wheelchair ramps and Braille. As the digital landscape continues to expand for businesses, this act has started to become increasingly relevant for websites.

The ADA was originally enacted to allow those with disabilities equal opportunity and protect them from discrimination. With nearly limitless opportunities across the internet, web content that is not equally accessible may be seen as discriminatory. The ADA has started to protect individuals who access business websites via a screen reader, voice navigation, or other assistive devices.

Knowing when a business is required to comply with the act and what is expected of those businesses can help to protect against lawsuits and accommodate the disabled individuals in their community.

Is ADA Compliance Required?

There is still a lot of grey area regarding how the ADA will affect websites. However, there are certain businesses that are increasingly required to uphold certain standards, including:

  • Title I Businesses: These businesses employ a minimum of 15 full-time employees and operate for at least 20 weeks per year.

  • Title III Businesses: These businesses are categorized as “public accommodation”, including hotels, public transportation, and banks.

If a company has a brick-and-mortar location, it is also more likely that the business’s website will be covered by ADA. However, it is still important for companies with no physical location to make their sites as accommodating as possible.

When a company fails to ensure that its website is ADA-compliant, the company may face backlash in the form of financial liabilities, lawsuits, and damage to a business’s reputation. While there are no set guidelines and the rules remain unclear, several companies follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which provide a reference point for businesses who want to enhance the accessibility of their website. Creating a consistent, organized layout with text transcripts for video and audio content is a great place to start. 

Contact Elite Lawyer Today

Ensuring that your law firm’s site is ADA-compliant not only prevents lawsuits, but it also prevents lost sale opportunities and has significant search engine optimization value.

With questions about law firm websites or online marketing services, contact our team at Elite Lawyer today by calling [[phone]].

To learn more about becoming an Elite Lawyer, visit https://www.elitelawyer.com/

 

Sources:

https://www.audioeye.com/post/does-my-website-have-to-be-ada-compliant

 

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