Web Accessibility Compliance & Legislation: Here’s What You Need to Know
In 2021 alone, the number of web-related lawsuits in the U.S. reached upwards of 11,400, marking a 320% increase in cases over the past eight years; that percentage is lifting annually. Making your website ADA-compliant will allow your business to mitigate any legal risk associated with inaccessible sites, saving you time and money that would be spent settling a potential lawsuit.
To help you achieve compliance, we have an automatic web accessibility tool that’s cost-effective and business-friendly. This accessibility tool is an AI-powered solution that helps you achieve compliance and accessibility and starts working within 48 hours from its 2-minute installation.
Without an accessible website, you face the risk of litigation, which could cost you up to $30,000 in a settlement, as well as valuable time and energy that could be spent on your business operations. You’re also missing out on an underserved and extremely loyal consumer market, and your website could be lacking the user experience needed to enhance search visibility and its overall performance. Implementing web accessibility, most importantly, is the right thing to do, and neglecting it could result in potential reputational damage.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility refers to making websites usable for people with disabilities. It involves designing and developing websites in a way that people with disabilities, such as those with visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments, can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the website and its content.
Web accessibility ensures that everyone has equal access to information and services on the web, regardless of their abilities. This includes individuals who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to access the web.
The Legal Requirement - ADA & WCAG
ADA and WCAG
What is ADA?
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, an American civil rights law passed in 1990. It’s America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities. In 2018, the DOJ clarified that the ADA covers web accessibility.
What is WCAG?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a massive guidebook that explains how accessible websites should look and operate for people with disabilities. While it is not stated in the ADA, the WCAG has been widely accepted as the industry standard for being ADA-compliant.
Lawsuit Trends - Numbers and trends of ADA-related lawsuits
The legislative landscape has changed in recent years, seeing a significant rise in web accessibility demand letters and lawsuits. Over the past few years, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of businesses have received demand letters, with 3% resulting in a trial. For reference, 2022 saw an all-time high of ADA web accessibility lawsuits, with 3,250 cases filed.
Key data and numbers:
- 2022 broke the record for ADA lawsuits and demand letters.
- In 2022, 3,250 lawsuits were filed, representing only 3% of demand letters, as 97% are settled before going to trial, which means the number of demand letters is even much higher.
- This means that approximately more than 100,00 business owners received demand letters in 2022 for having inaccessible websites.
- Since 2019, there has been an average of 13% year-on-year increase in web accessibility-related lawsuits.
- Organizations and businesses can be fined up to $150,000 for ADA violations, while the average ADA website lawsuit settlement typically ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.