The American Disabilities Act (ADA) makes certain website accessibility standards your legal responsibility. If you can’t remember your last ADA compliant website test, you could be at risk of lawsuits like the one Apple is currently facing.
Read on to learn how scheduling a ADA Compliant website test could save your business or franchise being labeled “intentionally discriminatory” like Apple.
Apple Accused of “Intentional Discrimination”
Himelda Mendez identifies himself as a “visually impaired and legally blind person.” To access online content, Mendez relies on screen-reading software, which either reads the information aloud or outputs it to a Braille display.
Based on a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, approximately 8.1 million people in the United States are visually impaired, including 2-million who are blind, and many of them rely on assistive technologies like Mendez.
But Apple’s website wasn’t built to be compatible with that kind of software.
According to the filing, Mendez encountered “multiple access barriers” that prevented him from having “full and equal access to the facilities, goods, and services offered to the public,” such as being able to browse and buy products, book Apple service appointments, and find nearby brick-and-mortar stores.
Mendez provided a long list of problems that Apple’s website needed to address before they were in full compliance with the ADA and WCAG, including:
- Providing alternative text for graphics;
- Fixing empty links containing no texts;
- Removing redundant links;
- and fixing instances where linked images were missing “alt” (alternative) text.
Though these issue may seem minor, these are the kinds of site design errors that prevent assistive technology from working properly. Mendez alleges that Apple’s website produced garbled messages on his Braille display, which left him unable to navigate the site and perform the same transactions as those with sight.
Further, by violating WCAG 2.0, Apple is accused of engaging in “acts of intentional discrimination” because:
- The site was allegedly created without visually impaired users in mind;
- The site has not yet been remediated,
Mendez’s suit demands a permanent injunction that would require Apple to retain a WCAG consultant to ensure that no such violations would occur again, as well as the implementation of accessibility compliance training for all web developers. Further, Mendez demands that the site be regularly tested by visually impaired users, and that he be compensated for damages “in an amount to be determined by proof, including all applicable statutory and punitive damages and fines,” including legal fees paid by the filer.
You can read the entire Mendez vs. Apple filing here.
How Can I Conduct an ADA Compliant Website Test?
The truth is that there is no singular “ADA compliant website test.” There are hundreds of free testing tools approval by the World Web Wide Consortium (W3), all of which you can find here.
But these ADA compliant website test tools aren’t enough on their own. And, as the W3 website states, “web accessibility evaluation tools can notdetermine accessibility, they can only assist in doing so.”
So what’s the solution?
“Human judgment is required,” W3 says.
Like the WCAG consultants Mendez demanded, ClickTecs specializes in ADA compliant website tests and remediation. We use a combination of select compliance testing tools and manual review using a 300-item checklist to pinpoint compliance issues, then spring into action with whatever combination of web coding, design, and document remediation may be needed to bring your site up to code.
To conduct your ADA compliant website test, book a free consultation with our team, where we will provide you with a breakdown of the costs and timeline you can expect.Back