Is your site fully accessible to individuals with disabilities?
In March 2014, the U.S. Justice Department ordered subsidiaries of H&R Block to take specific actions to ensure individuals with disabilities have full access to its online information and services. The department acted in the interest of a lawsuit filed against the company in Massachusetts by the National Federation of the Blind, alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
If you’ve been involved with a construction project in recent years – particularly in a commercial property, then you’re familiar with the ADA requirements for making buildings accessible. The law has application to the online world as well, as demonstrated by the H&R Block case.
Standards for web accessibility have been in existence for a number of years. The lawsuit and settlement are bringing more attention to them — with the possibility of encouraging similar cases. Businesses that operate a retail or commercial website should be aware of the accessibility standards and adapt their sites accordingly in order to make the site effective for all visitors.
Individuals with disabilities include those with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive impairments, reportedly being 20 percent or more of the U.S. population.
Online checklists for making your site ADA accessible are widely available, including this one from U.C.-Berkeley.
Have questions about accessibility? Contact us here at Page Progressive for help in navigating the requirements of a fully accessible site for individuals with disabilities.
Image courtesy of Praisaeng/FreeDigitalPhotos.net