ADA Compliance: Protect Your Website Now

Mon, Apr 8, 2024

Did you know every public website must be accessible to people with disabilities? 

This is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the ambulance-chasing lawyers are already on the prowl. 

Before you think you’re safe because [insert excuse here], the law is as broad as it could possibly be, applying to “businesses that are open to the public.” It has been upheld in court against any public-facing URL offering a product or service. (Yes, that includes funnels.)

Here’s the best (worst) part: 97% of websites are NOT ADA compliant. 

If you’re not sure, you’re not compliant. Being ADA-compliant requires you to make significant changes to your website and (usually) use added software for accessibility.

I know a handful of people who have already been sued over ADA compliance. Everyone lost. The judgments ranged from a few thousand dollars to sums approaching six figures. One was a small, niche eCommerce site—so you can’t fly under the radar. 

It’s a one-time fix, right? Wrong. 

The law mandates compliance but doesn’t define what accessibility means. 

Instead, it outsources that problem to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which updates accessibility standards “as necessary.” #movingtarget

So, what do you do? 

Options range from super expensive white-glove services to $10 WordPress plugins. I advise going somewhere in the middle and finding a legitimate ADA compliance application with a proven track record of fending off predatory litigation. 

I chose AccessiBe (not an affiliate) based on the recommendation of one of the world’s top advertising and marketing attorneys. Shout-out to Ryan Poteet! It starts at $500 a year and does most of the heavy lifting for you. It also comes with litigation support if you still get sued.

A service doesn’t guarantee you won’t catch a case; you’re just no longer the low-hanging fruit. 

For the record, my mom is blind. I believe strongly that sites should be accessible to everyone. I also believe in mitigating risk against predatory litigation. Hopefully, we can all do both.

This isn’t one to sleep on. 

Take a minute and tell whoever manages your sites they need to be ADA-compliant. If they argue, send them this thread. If they still argue, send them the legislation. Don’t let anyone convince you it’s not necessary. They’re wrong. 

Have you or someone you know been hit with an ADA-related lawsuit? Please share your story in the comments. Hopefully, it’ll help others see how seriously they should take this issue.