You could face a lawsuit if a person with a disability claims they can't access your website. You can bear legal fees, a potential settlement, a potential public relations issue, and the cost of rebuilding your website to be ADA compliant. If your website is only web-based, you can still be sued and even theoretically lose a case on the merits in court. Web-based businesses without physical presence are increasingly being swept away by ADA compliance.
When it comes to ADA website compliance, there are no clear rules. However, that doesn't let companies get out of the hurry; they still need to provide an accessible website that is tailored to users with disabilities. The ADA tells us that all public spaces should be accessible to all, and courts have increasingly held that its website is considered an extension of a physical location, such as a store or school. This makes your website a public space, subjecting it to ADA compliance standards.
If your website or digital space is not accessible to everyone, you run the risk of someone filing a lawsuit against your company for discrimination. Just as your physical business could face a lawsuit for not providing wheelchair access, you could face a lawsuit if a person with a disability claims that they cannot access your website. This can result in legal fees, a potential settlement, a potential public relations problem, and the cost of rebuilding your website to ADA compliance, not to mention the potential to damage your company's reputation. To learn more about ADA website compliance and how you can protect your business, consider consulting with a disability attorney.
You can also check for specific ADA compliance issues, such as color contrast, with programs dedicated to these topics. Through WordPress, you can access several ADA compliance plugins, such as Accessibility Suite and WP Accessibility Helper. If you are forced to redesign your website to be ADA compliant due to an unexpected lawsuit, you may have to suspend any plans you have for your company. It's important to note that most ADA lawsuits are legitimate, because plaintiffs cannot sue under the ADA for monetary damages.
When the ADA was created in 1990, websites were not widely used, so legislation did not address them. With the increase in compliance demands for ADA websites, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with this issue. Make Your Website ADA Compliant Beyond serious fines and attorney expenses, bad press can have a serious impact on the success of your business. If a person with a disability sues you, paying for an attorney who specializes in complying with the ADA website to represent your company or organization can only be part of your legal fees.
As a business owner or digital publisher, you should be aware of the risks of not having an ADA-compliant website. As a website owner, the choice usually comes down to spending the money to make your website ADA-compliant and running the risk of not being sued in federal court.