The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain businesses to make accommodations to people with disabilities, both online and in-store. Failure to comply with these regulations can results in hefty lawsuits up to $50,000 depending on the state and it is common for attorneys to seek out non-compliant businesses.
These regulations essentially mean that individuals who are blind, deaf or who otherwise have to navigate by voice or touch are still able to fully utilize your website and physical location.
Please Note: The system inherently helps you with ADA compatibility by adding aria labels to areas such as the newsletter module and website forms. This allows those areas to be read aloud by screen readers and other assistive technology.
ADA Title I Compliance
The ADA defines "employer" as someone who:
- Engages in an industry affecting commerce.
- Is open 20 or more calendar weeks in the year.
- Employs 15 or more full-time employees each working day.
If you do not meet this criteria, then you do not have to comply with Title I.
ADA Title III Compliance
This pertains only to businesses that are considered "public accommodations". Generally only the following business types are affected although a full list can be viewed here.
- Hospitality such as inns, hotels/motels
- Food service such as restaurants, bars, bakeries, and grocery stores
- General retail stores such as hardware or any sales/retail outlet
- Services such as gyms or recreational centers
- Public services such as banks, public transportation, schools, health care provides, and social service centers
If your business falls under either Title I or Title III of the ADA and you do not believe you are compliant, consult with a disability lawyer and explore your options.
Tips for Being Compliant
Your physical location should have wheelchair accessibility, access for service animals, and include the use of braille. Essentially, your business should have "reasonable accessibility" for those with disabilities.
Websites have a number of suggested methods for remaining ADA Compliant. They are listed below:
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard (automatically done through the Rain software).
- Provide users enough time to read and use content.
- Don’t design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
- Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine what location of the site they are currently accessing.
- The language of the page should be programmatically identifiable (automatically done through the Rain software).
- Navigation should be consistent across the website (automatically done through the Rain software).
- Areas of the website that require user input (like contact forms) should have ample instructions included.