The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, long before e-commerce became part of everyday life. Most people think of the ADA as applying to brick and mortar stores. However, now that consumers have moved online, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is redefining how the ADA applies to the e-commerce business.
Many nonprofit and for-profit organizations have already been sued and have had to settle according to the Florida Retail Federation. Failure to comply with Section 508 could expose your company to hefty fines, the risk of expensive criminal and civil litigation as well as a reputation for being unfriendly to the disabled.
Websites who do not meet WCAG AA accessibility standards can be fined up to $50,000 for a first violation and $100,000 for a second, and even more for compensation of damages.
Hundreds of Lawsuits. Thousands of Demand Letters.
- Target.com - Sued for failure to provide descriptive alt text on images for product images appearing on their e-commerce store
- Etrade.com - Sued for failure to provide an accessible website, mobile application and accessible online trading platform for customers who are blind.
- H&R Block - Sued for failure to provide accessible web content for their online tax preparation tool, website, and mobile application
- NetFlix.com, Hulu.com, Amazon.com, MIT and Harvard University - Sued for failure to provide closed captioning on streaming web videos, archived video content and pre-recorded course material
- MLB - Sued for failure to provide accessibility of apps for mobile devices based on WCAG Level AA for its iPhone and iPad apps.
- SafeWay - Sued for failure to provide accessibility of its online grocery delivery website.
- Carnival Cruises - Sued for failure to provide accessible web experiences for their Carnival Cruises, Princess and HollandAmerica websites
- Weight Watchers - Sued for failure to provide its online and mobile application content and print material in accessible formats for persons with visual impairments
OTHERS: Patagonia, Ace Hardware, Aeropostale, Bed Bath & Beyond, PeaPod, Estee Lauder, JC Penny, Home Depot as well as the Kardashian's ShopDashOnline.com are the most recent companies sued by blind plaintiffs, alleging that the retailers’ websites are not accessible to the blind as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Global Presence is a proud member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). As part of our dedication to continue expanding our knowledge of accessible web development best practices, our compliance team actively participates in conferences, webinars, and training to ensure we are always up to date on the latest standards.
The collective knowledge of our accessibility compliance team is at your disposal and always available to help navigate the standards set forth by the ADA, WCAG AA, and Section 508 ensuring equal access for all individuals interacting with your digital products.
Global Presence is able to help organizations, especially publicly granted nonprofits and businesses meet and maintain WCAG standards. We have two types of audits:
WCAG review of a site which covers a risk level review of approximately 3-5 pages of a site. This identifies any major global findings of issues across a small subset of pages related to WCAG 2.1 level AA conformance and provides recommended solutions that a website design team can correct. This does not identify all issues but is a simpler and less expensive way to audit a website and ensure accessibility as long as the other pages don’t have any changes in the code. Recommend for small to midsize businesses and nonprofits. This process is completed in 1 - 2 weeks.
WCAG review of a site that covers 10-12 key identified pages on a website which should provide the most complete coverage between global issues and page specific issues that should provide a development/design/content team the information they would need to ensure all pages similarly can be fixed. Each page goes through each identified WCAG 2.1 level A, and AA issues provide screenshots and source code references and provide a recommended fix to correct said issue. This typically costs $5,000, however, can increase if more pages are required or if the site is a robust SaaS application. Recommend for larger businesses that are at risk of lawsuit, or Title III organizations that are mandated to have ADA compliant sites or organizations undergoing major site improvements or changes. Turnaround time is 4 weeks.
Website Rebuild or New Template
For some websites that are obviously outside of compliance, we recommend an entire rebuild of their site or new design in order to avoid comprehensive auditing fees and dive right into a long term solution of maintenance and marketing efforts. Please see our plans.
- Images have alternate text that can be read by screen reader software.
- Recorded video content includes captions.
- Video or audio-only content is accompanied by text transcript or description.
- Links are provided to media players required to view content.
- Headings are presented in logical order.
- "b" and "i" tags are replaced with "strong" and "em."
- There are no empty links or heading tags.
- Presentation does not rely solely on color.
- Automatically-played audio does not occur or can be stopped.
- The keyboard can be used to navigate the site.
- Keyboard focus is never stuck on one particular page element.
- Time limits provide notifications to the user.
- Automatically scrolling or blinking content can be stopped.
- No strobe effects or rapidly flashing colors occur on the site.
- “Skip navigation” functionality allows keyboard users to quickly access content.
- Page titles clearly and succinctly describe page content.
- Buttons and links are clearly and logically named.
- The language of each page is identified in code.
- Elements receiving focus do not change content in a substantial way.
- Invalid form input is identified to the user.
- Forms have labels and legends that can be read by screen reader software.
- There are no major validation errors.
- Live video or audio content includes captions.
- Contrast ratio between text and page backgrounds is at least 4.5-to-1.
- Text on pages can be resized to 200% while still maintaining form.
- Images are not used where text can achieve the same purpose.
- Pages on the site can be accessed in multiple ways.
- Keyboard focus is visible and clear.
- The language of content is identified in code with any language changes.
- Menus and buttons are used consistently regardless of the user’s location in the site.
- Users are given suggestions on how to solve input errors.
- An error prevention technique is used whenever the user is entering sensitive data.
- Underlined text universally suggests "this is a link." Therefore, underlined text that does not link is misleading and should be removed. Italics can be a great alternative. Underlined text that does not provide a link is removed.
- Redundant links on the same page are eliminated or minimized.