Ensuring Web Accessibility: Why iWAT Is Your Solution
In today’s digital landscape, the Internet has become a powerful platform, and with the freedom available to anyone seeking legal recourse, the risk of lawsuits regarding web accessibility has significantly increased. Major companies like Netflix have faced legal challenges for issues related to accessibility, emphasizing the importance of catering to individuals with disabilities online. As a small business, your website is also at risk if not carefully crafted to meet accessibility standards.
Understanding Web Accessibility:
Web accessibility refers to the inclusivity of individuals with disabilities in accessing and navigating a website. Similar to physical spaces that require accommodations for people with disabilities, digital spaces are legally mandated to ensure access to everyone. Legal standards such as Section 508, ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines make it essential for websites to be accessible, providing features like screen readers for the visually impaired or captions for the hearing impaired.
Identifying Common Website Accessibility Challenges
Insufficient Color Contrast: When text and background colors lack contrast, individuals with limited vision or color blindness struggle to read content (e.g., light gray text on a light background).
Sole Reliance on Color for Conveying Information: People with color-blindness face barriers when information is solely conveyed through color cues, making it inaccessible to those unable to distinguish certain colors. Screen readers also do not identify text colors, impacting individuals who are blind.
Lack of Image Alt Text: Failure to provide text alternatives for images restricts the understanding and purpose of visual content, hindering individuals who are blind from comprehending images such as pictures, illustrations, and charts.
Absence of Video Captions: Videos lacking captions pose difficulties for individuals with hearing impairments, as they are unable to access the information communicated in the video.
Inaccessible Online Forms: Complex online forms without screen-readable labels, clear instructions, and error indicators create obstacles for people with disabilities, impeding their ability to understand, complete, and accurately submit forms.
Mouse-Only Navigation: Websites lacking keyboard navigation prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing content if they are unable to use a mouse or trackpad for navigation.
Why Your Website’s Accessibility Matters:
Compliance with accessibility standards not only safeguards you from legal repercussions but also broadens your audience reach. However, achieving full compliance can be complex, and overlooking even small details can put your business at risk.
Evaluating Your Website’s Accessibility:
To ensure your website complies with accessibility standards, it’s crucial to understand and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines diligently. User testing and leveraging accessibility tools and programs like AccessiBe or seeking expert opinions can help in identifying and addressing any gaps.
Consequences of Non-Compliance:
Failure to ensure accessibility on your website can result in severe consequences. Not only might you lose potential customers due to an inaccessible interface, but you could also face legal penalties, fines, and lawsuits. Fines for non-compliance can be substantial, reaching up to $75,000 for the first violation, with increasing penalties for subsequent infractions.
The Threat of Lawsuits:
Non-compliance with ADA regulations empowers individuals with disabilities to file complaints, potentially leading to lawsuits. State and local governments also enforce their disability laws, further escalating the legal implications.
At iWAT, we understand the critical importance of web accessibility. Our comprehensive solution ensures that your website meets the necessary standards, mitigating the risk of legal issues and maximizing your audience reach. We offer expert services and tools to assess, implement, and maintain accessibility on your website, safeguarding your business while enhancing inclusivity.
Ensuring web accessibility is not just about legal compliance—it’s about creating an inclusive online environment for everyone. With iWAT’s dedicated services and solutions, you can safeguard your website against legal vulnerabilities and ensure that your digital presence welcomes and accommodates all users.
By prioritizing web accessibility, not only do you protect your business legally, but you also embrace a diverse audience, fostering inclusivity and enhancing your brand reputation. Contact iWAT today to safeguard your website and your business from the risks of non-compliance.