Navigating ADA Compliance: Small Businesses and Website Lawsuits 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, marked a significant step towards eliminating discrimination based on disability. While initially addressing physical spaces, the ADA’s reach has extended to the digital realm, especially concerning websites. However, as we venture into 2024, the application of ADA regulations to websites remains somewhat ambiguous, creating a growing concern for small businesses.

The Growing Trend of Lawsuits 

In 2023, small businesses found themselves increasingly entangled in legal battles over ADA compliance. As we move forward, the trend appears poised to continue, emphasizing the urgency for businesses to address accessibility issues on their websites proactively. 

What Constitutes an ADA Violation?

Several factors contribute to a website being deemed non-compliant with ADA standards. These include minimal color contrast, lack of alt-text, improper HTML markup, absent video captions, and the presence of dead links and other broken components. The consequences for non-compliance can be severe, with initial fines reaching up to $50,000 and subsequent violations escalating to $100,000. 

Mitigating ADA Compliance Issues 

To avoid falling victim to ADA violations, businesses must take proactive measures. An essential first step is to assess their website’s compliance using tools like Accessibility Checker. If the website falls short, several strategies can be employed. 

Platform-Specific Solutions 

For websites built on Magento or WordPress platforms, there are dedicated plugins that can address ADA compliance issues: 

General Solutions 

For websites not on these platforms, developers should focus on increasing color contrast, implementing alt-text, ensuring proper HTML markup, adding video captions, and fixing broken components. Seeking professional assistance, such as from a web developer or specialized service, can streamline the process and reduce the risk of ADA violations.