Web accessibility affects everyone. Take this example for instance. You’re web browsing on your phone when you notice that after tapping on the site, all the tiny font is impossible to read. You end up having to zoom in and as a consequence, you swipe back and forth across your phone because the sentences are running off the screen.
Not only is it hard to read, but it also takes too long to read. You leave the page and find another site for information.
Optimizing a responsive website or app and making it compliant will allow a user to increase the font so that content still fits in the window. Content size is one area of websites that can affect anyone’s experience as a user on the web.
Why Should Web Accessibility Be Important to You?
Web accessibility under Section 508 establishes that federal agencies make all electronic content accessible to everyone. The technologies need to be user-friendly and compatible for those living with a disability as well as those without a disability. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is among the largest collective that’s published guidelines like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to help make websites compliant.
If you’re wondering, “Well I’m not a federal agency does this really affect my website?” The short answer is yes. The reasoning is because any business considered a “place of public accommodation” should have an ADA compliant web presence.
Don’t just take our word for it, let’s look at the trends, statistics, and lawsuit numbers.
Web Accessibility and Disability Trends and Statistics
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2016 that there were 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. living with a disability. That’s roughly 61 million individuals. The number of adults living with a disability will vastly increase as the U.S. Census Bureau projects by 2030, people 65 and older will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. It’s important to be designing websites with inclusion in mind as it will improve usability for everyone living with or without a disability and of any age.
The first major web accessibility lawsuit headlined in 2016 and seemed to lead the hundreds after it. Plaintiff Juan Carlos Gil sued major grocery chain Winn-Dixie for an inaccessible website his screen reader couldn’t navigate. This set the grounds for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In 2017 there were 814 lawsuits, in 2018 the number of lawsuits shot to 2,258 an increase of 177%. The amount of web-accessible lawsuits is expected to further increase in 2019.
It’s important to safeguard your business from lawsuits as we can see the rising trends on lawsuits for any industry.
Lawsuits Per Industry
If you’re still wondering, “Is my business really going to be affected?” We’ve compiled a handful of lawsuits per industry that might help to answer.
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Porsche Design of America
- H Mart, Inc
- Lucky Brand Dungarees Stores
- Mario Badescu Skin Care
Consumer and Business Services
- Beyonce.com (Parkwood Entertainment, LLC)
- Avis Budget Group
- Glenwood Luxury Apartment Rental Corp.
- Bank of Hope
- Heritage Auctions, Inc.
- Adecco USA, Inc.
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