Business owners often overlook website accessibility – to their own detriment. Ignoring the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines has real consequences. Here are 3 reasons you can’t afford to ignore website accessibility.
1. Websites that aren’t accessible are open to lawsuits.
The number of website lawsuits in federal courts has risen steadily in the last three years – in 2021, there were 2,895 ADA Title III lawsuits in federal courts alone. The total number of federal and state lawsuits in 2021 was 4,055 – reaching a rate of 10 cases per day. While the outcome of these particular cases will vary, the guidelines for ADA compliance state that if you’re found in violation, your first penalty may be between $55,000 to $75,000, with subsequent violations resulting in a 150,000 fine.
While it’s impossible to track the exact number of demand letters threatening litigation for non-compliant websites, it’s estimated these letters cost a company 5k-20k on average to settle.
2. A non-compliant site is cut off from 15% of all Internet users.
If your site isn’t up to ADA compliance guidelines, it can’t be accessed by the roughly 1.4 billion internet users with disabilities around the world. That’s a massive chunk of potential business you’re missing out on by not making your site accessible.
3. Search engines penalize non-compliant sites.
There’s plenty of overlap between search engine optimization best practices and accessibility standards. The tools that make it possible for users with disabilities to access your website need to be able to understand what’s on the pages they’re looking at – and so do the crawlers that Google and other search engines utilize. When these devices and crawlers run into problems, your site faces search performance penalties on top of accessibility fines.
We Can Help
Not sure if your site is compliant? Our team of experts can help you get it up to to code. Set up your free consultation for more information.