Accessibility was never a topic to be ignored – but it was somewhat a gray area for smaller businesses, in particular, that didn’t understand the importance of ensuring a website complied with accessibility regulations. Smaller brands might have been able to hide in the shadows without paying attention to said regulations, but bigger brands would come under fire if those with a disability struggled to access their website.
In 2022, however, no brand will be able to hide in the shadows away from accessibility compliance regulations, and so they shouldn’t. Everyone should be entitled to the same experience when exploring a website. Below, we’ll look at why the regulations are becoming stricter and how businesses must adapt.
What’s The ADA?
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act – a civil rights law set up to enable and empower those with disabilities to have the same experiences as those without one and prohibits discrimination. That’s not only related to business; it covers discrimination against accessing public transport, employment, public accommodation, and communications. Under that umbrella of regulations within the law is accessing websites online. Some once thought that ADA compliance was optional – think again because, in 2022, it gets far stricter.
What’s ADA Compliance, And How Is It Changing?
ADA compliance refers to, believe it or not, complying with the civil law that protects disabled people from being discriminated against. Within the law is accessibility compliance, which relates to businesses ensuring that their website is accessible for people with disabilities – not to be confused with 508 compliance. AccessiBe assists with accessibility lawsuits by ensuring websites become and stay compliant with the regulations – which is now more essential than ever before.
Compliance is expected to become somewhat stricter in 2022 because the ADA mandates compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. 2.0 is soon to end, and in its place will be the new 3.0, which aims to improve the accessibility of products across multiple platforms. Thus, as the new WCAG launches, ADA compliance should become tighter.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
The launch of the new WCAG and the expected consequences for ADA compliance means businesses, now more than ever, need to focus on ensuring their website is accessible to everyone. This article outlines, in detail, how brands can ensure their website is ADA compliant. It means including accessible PDF files, videos having subtitles, a website accessibility policy page, and call to action buttons having an accessible name with an ARIA label.
Failing to comply with ADA regulations will result in a civil lawsuit, and failing to comply with WCAG regulations will result in a federal criminal case. That’s why brands need to focus on website accessibility – especially in 2022, as the regulations become tighter and change, which can be confusing for brands.
Anyone who wants more information on the ADA and what the civil law entails can read about it in-depth online – you can even download it in PDF form. Look out for the upcoming changes to the WCAG and watch for how they might influence ADA compliance. Failing to notice changes is a surefire way for a business to land in hot water.