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There are four good reasons to make your website ADA Compliant. If you’re not sure if your website is ADA compliant and you’re wondering if it’s worth looking into, these advantages of doing so may convince you. For further reading from the point of view of the standards creators look at: https://www.w3.org/WAI/business-case/#is-there-a-business-case-for-accessibility

1) ADA Website Compliance will increase your addressable Target Audience

If your website is not already ADA compliant, you are automatically missing out on millions of potential customers who cannot access your site due to their disabilities. In fact, there are nearly 50 million people with diagnosed disabilities in the U.S., which means more than 17% percent of this country’s population has a disability. You likely know someone with disabilities or have family members with disabilities. Many of your customers may be disabled and they or their family members might be interested in your products or services, but once they arrive at your website, they won’t be able to navigate easily enough to buy anything or even contact you, all because your website is only accessible to people without disabilities. Thus, they may move on to your competitors.

For instance, if you have a video that shows how your product works or why it’s better than others, but it doesn’t have closed captioning, much like sports broadcasts, then people who are deaf or hard of hearing will not get to find out how good your product tastes. The same goes for when you have images with no alternate text. The point of the alternate text is to allow screen reading tools to describe the image to someone who is blind, so if you don’t have that text, some of your audience will miss out. Similarly, it’s important to ensure your website is fully accessible without a mouse so that people with physical limitations can use with the tools they have on the mobile device or computer at home. The image below shows a Comp Cam You Tube video with the automated Voice to text Transcript enabled and displayed in the box at left for the deaf or hearing impaired.

2) ADA Compliance will improve Your SEO Efforts

Now more than ever, search engines are evolving to crawl pages with more human intention. A key element of WCAG is accessibility to screen readers, and these readers crawl your website pages similarly to search engines. If your website meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it will likely appeal to users, search engines, and screen readers alike, ultimately improving your SEO endeavors. For this reason, meta tagging, alternative image text, and video transcripts should be seriously considered. A short cut to having your video be more fully accessible is to use a You Tube channel for your automotive aftermarket products and services. You Tube provides simple tools to add voice to text transcripts and closed captioning and uses AI tools to create alt-text descriptions of video and still image content savings hundreds or even thousands of hours of work.

3) ADA Compliance can Help Your Reputation and may drive on-premise visitors

The fact that an ADA compliant website can increase your target audience by millions is just one reason to make your site more accessible. Another benefit is that not only will you get more customers, but those customers will also know how valuable they are to your business. After all, they might have gone to a few other websites that were not ADA compliant, disappointed each time that they couldn’t access the content, until they got to your website.

And once those new customers tell their friends and relatives how they found your website, more people will know you made sure to make it ADA compliant. The fact that you put this effort into ensuring everyone was included will set you apart from your competitors. Therefore, making your site ADA compliant is a great way to get some positive press for your business. If you give factory tours, have will call for the public to pick up product at your sales office or have a publicly accessible restaurant at your facility you’ll need to be sure that you have addressed on site ADA compliance and accommodation requirements to meet your new customers’ expectations.

4) ADA Compliance Means Overall Better Website Usability

Creating a more operable and navigable website will ultimately benefit all users while still meeting WCAG guidelines. Making your web pages easier to comprehend will allow everyone – disabled or non – to find what they’re looking for quickly. If you decide to follow the guidelines, your website will likely convert more leads across the board because users will trust that they can always easily find the content they need. The WCAG guidelines will help you consider how to make your website more logical and easier to navigate for all users. Be aware that .pdf documents such as application lists, product installation guides or brochures that describe all of your products need to be converted too accessible pdf’s. Tools like those offered by Userway.org and many commercial providers can perform the is task easily.

Bonus Point: You Can Avoid Penalties

The text in the ADA did not originally mention websites since this technology was not widely used in 1990. But now that most businesses have a website, they need to make sure it’s accessible to everyone. Since we’re past the original ruling date in 2008, all updated pages on your website are required to be at least ACAG 2.0 grade A complaint, with grade AAA being the highest.

Dozens of esteemed brands have been hit with significant lawsuits in recent years, before the guidelines were even set in stone. Businesses including Fordham University, Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Beyonnce’ and Kylie Jenner have been sued for the lack of ADA compliant websites. 1,000’s of small businesses have also been targeted as well. Blue Apron, a pure e-commerce food delivery company was successfully sued and while some Federal jurisdictions have tended to restrict website ADA suits to those companies with physical presence an equal number have not and State courts have combined the Federally based actions with Statue ADA laws to allow suits to go forward.

Currently, there is a safe harbor clause that allows your existing content to remain as it is, unless altered after January 18, 2018. However, the guidelines do pertain to any page that has been updated after that date. Therefore, if you want to avoid the potential legal costs of being found non-compliant with the ADA, it’s best to make the necessary changes to your website now.
If you’re unsure where to get started, the ADA’s website has some tips. You can also contact your web site developer to ask if your website is currently ADA compliant, do they have the skill set to make changes and if so, how much it will cost and how soon you can change it if it’s not.

If you’re unsure where to get started, the ADA’s website has some tips. You can also contact your web site developer to ask if your website is currently ADA compliant, do they have the skill set to make changes and if so, how much it will cost and how soon you can change it if it’s not.