Web accessibility refers to making websites usable for people with disabilities. It involves designing and developing websites in a way that people with disabilities, such as those with visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments, can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the website and its content.
Web accessibility ensures that everyone has equal access to information and services on the web, regardless of their abilities. This includes individuals who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to access the web.
You may know that the current legislation requires web accessibility, but also, the public’s opinion is moving in the same direction.
By making your website accessible, you can help mitigate your business’s legal and financial risk, improve your SEO, demonstrate your brand is inclusive, reach out to a substantial underserved market (that has significant purchasing power), and do the right thing.
Department of Justice affirms website must be accessible
In the last week the Justice Department sent to the Federal Register for publication a notice of proposed rulemaking under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The goal is to improve web and mobile applications (apps) access for people with disabilities.
Websites and mobile apps provide access to vital public and private programs and services. Things like employment, educational resources, voting information, health and emergency services all have a large presence online.
Accessibility is a legal requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Besides the legal aspect, having an accessible and inclusive website offers several benefits such as improved SEO and eligibility for tax credits, plus you are doing the right thing.
In 2022 the Department of Justice (DOJ) reaffirmed and clarified its 2018 ruling that websites are places of public accommodation and are subject to the ADA’s requirements of general non-discrimination and effective communication.
Rise in lawsuits
In recent years there has been a significant rise in web accessibility demand letters and lawsuits. It is estimated that over the last few years there have been hundreds of thousands of businesses that have received demand letters. 3% have gone to trial. In 2022 there were 3,250 ADA web accessibility lawsuits filed. If only 3% went to trial that means that over 105,000 business settled out of court. Although a business can be fined up to $150,000 for ADA violations, the average ADA website lawsuit settlement typically ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a guidebook that explains how an accessible website should work for people with disabilities. Although the ADA doesn’t mention WCAG specifically, the WCAG is widely accepted as the industry standard for being ADA-compliant. If you abide by the WCAT guidelines your website should be considered compliant.
There is a solution
While we monitor trends in the industry, we are now alerting you as this has become the expected standard by law. We’ve also noticed the increasing lawsuit trends and the social awareness about inclusivity in the industry. We researched a solution to solve this issue and make your website compliant, and now that we have found it, we bring it to your attention.
AccessiBe allows you to make your website open to everyone and achieve ADA compliance as well. We decided to partner with AccessiBe to offer the leading AI-Powered web accessibility, WCAG & ADA compliance solution.
For as little as $490 annually your website can be compliant with ADA, AODA, EAA, WCAG and more. AccessiBe offers an accessibility statement, AI-powered screen reader and keyboard navigation. Daily compliance monitoring and scanning as well as litigation support is included with our package.
Improved SEO Performance
Accessible websites enjoy increased traffic, reduced bounce rates, improved SEO rankings, and better conversion rates. An accessible website means that you’re making it easier for people to find your website. A study by SemRush analyzed 847 web domains. They found that there was a 12% average increase in traffic for all domains. Over 70% saw growth in organic traffic.
Increase your visibility
15% of the global population lives with a disability. Not only do you widen your user base, you are also providing a better experience for everyone, regardless of ability.
Brand reputation and social responsibility are crucial for businesses, and web accessibility is an essential part of this. In order to be in line with legislation and maintain a brand reputation, you should do something about web accessibility. Once you implement an accessibility solution, you will have an accessibility statement, and that says a lot about your brand.
ADA Tax Credit
The tax credit, listed under Section 44 of the IRS Code, covers 50% of the eligible access expenditures made during the previous tax year, with a maximum expenditure limit of $10,250. There is no credit for the first $250 of the expenditures, and so, it is subtracted accordingly. Therefore, the highest amount of credit a business can receive is $5,000.
For example, let’s say a business spends $490 on accessWidget (and that’s its annual accessibility fee). We would subtract $250 from that, which leaves $240. The business is then receiving 50% of what’s left, which equals $120 in credit. This means that a business would only be paying $370 a year for accessWidget.
Before you sign off and send in your comprehensive return files, don’t forget to consult with a CPA or tax professional. If a CPA firm doesn’t know this credit exists, make sure to tell them the form number (8826). They can easily fill out the form and state the accurate amount spent on accessibility efforts, speeding up the process and ensuring it’s done right!
accessiBe is an Industry leader with hundreds of thousands of customers and a pioneer of AI-powered solution technology (accessiBe is trusted by over 200,000 companies and industry leaders). They are consistently top-rated by its customers.
Automation allows accessWidget to significantly cut the costs of becoming compliant and makes web accessibility accessible. accessWidget costs just $490 per year per domain for websites under 1,000 pages, with different plans for bigger sites. In addition, the price is even lower after-tax credits.
Once we install it on your website accessWidget scans, analyzes, and fixes accessibility compliance gaps in up to 48 hours.
You will also receive ongoing maintenance and remediation for your website. accessWidget scans and monitors your website every 24 hours to ensure any new content you upload is remediated.
accessiBe’s Litigation Support Package is a unique service that takes care of everything you need and provides all necessary accessibility documentation for all case scenarios. Instead of handling legal situations on your own, accessiBe is the only web accessibility service that provides such a package and gives you the peace of mind you need.
When it comes to your user interface and website design, accessWidget will not change a thing for most users. It will only be activated when turned on via the interface (or a screen reader if the user is blind) and only during the user’s specific session.
Free ADA compliant audit of your website
Whether or not your site was accessible when it was built, the moment a change is made, it is no longer accessible. Any updates to your site impact its accessibility: image descriptions are often missing, keyboard navigation is usually difficult or impossible, etc.
If you would like to learn more about making your website accessible you can call us at 877-577-6932 or email us at [email protected]. We will run a free audit of your website and show you where improvement is needed. You can see how it works here on our website. Click on the blue circle in the bottom right and see what all it does. For people with disabilities, these options make the difference between staying on your website or find another business that can accommodate them.