This is the second blog post in a two-part series about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its impact on digital marketing: a.k.a. your website! Read the first article in this series here.
Who needs to be worried about ADA Compliance?
YOU! If you have a website, don’t stop reading this article!
What is the ADA?
The ADA is the acronym for the American Disabilities Act. It’s a civil rights law that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. It first became law in 1990 and an amended version went into effect on Jan. 1, 2009. The amended version redefined the concept of “disability.”
Of course, the ADA protects people on the basis of race, age, color, sex, religion and national origin. When it comes to employment, public places, transportation and government buildings, all people who define as disabled are entitled to accommodations.
Most people know all of this as it relates to elevators and ramps and other brick and mortar accommodations. Here’s what you may not know…
Why should companies care about the ADA?
There is another market sector impacted by the ADA: telecommunications.
Simply put, if your website and other electronic means of communicating with the public are not ADA compliant, your company can be fined significantly.
The “why” your website needs to be ADA compliant is easily answered. To avoid hefty fines and, quite frankly, not being of service to a presumably large number of potential customers, it’s important to make sure your website is ADA compliant.
How can I upgrade my website so it’s ADA compliant?
The best way is to engage a digital marketing firm, like Harmonia Media, that has the experience and knowledge to make sure the transition to ADA compliance is a smooth one. You also want it done correctly so hiring someone who specializes in this work is a great idea.
Contact Harmonia Media about ADA Compliance NOW
Harmonia Media will make sure your website includes closed captioning capabilities for videos for the hearing impaired, text-to-speech capabilities for people who are unable to type, screen reader compatibility options for those who are visually impaired, etc.
According to the ADA’s written instructions, here’s what you need to do to your site to make sure it is in full compliance with the law:
- Make it easy to use a keyboard to navigate your site
- Create subtitles that appear when videos play
- Make it very easy to find information on your website with a sitemap that can be read by screen reader technology.
- Make sure content, design and development are easy to consume and use
When should I update my website to make it ADA compliant?
Yesterday. The Americans with Disabilities Act is the law of the land. If you haven’t been fined for disregarding it yet, count yourself as lucky. If you are creating a brand new site or refreshing an existing one, make sure ADA compliance is on your “to do” checklist.
Don’t forget to test compliance before you implement it. Can you imagine the frustration someone might experience if they saw the insignia for ADA compliance but couldn’t make a function work properly? In the customer’s eyes, it might even be worse than no compliance at all!
When it comes to testing, Harmonia Media won’t let you get caught with your pants down! We will test each aspect of ADA compliance as it’s added to your website and continue to do this until the job is done
WHERE is the easiest part of all!
By where, we don’t mean where you should be focused on ADA compliance. That’s easy: your website!
But there’s another “where: to think about. While getting up to speed on ADA compliance isn’t expensive, there are many reasons beyond “it’s the law” for why you should get it done sooner rather than later. A great one is that you can include the fact that you are ADA friendly in your marketing materials. Every bit of positive PR helps your bottom line!
An Extra B…
Bottom Line: At the end of the day, ADA compliance is the right thing to do and it’s also the law. But, if you are worried about the small expense of getting it done, may we suggest the following: ADA compliance, like so many other things, is the price of doing business these days. Keeping customers happy so they refer you and come back and buy again is the name of the game in today’s ultra competitive marketplace.
So, bite the bullet and contact Harmonia Media. We will make ADA compliance budget friendly and painless!