Website & Mobile App Accessibility
American's with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) provides persons with disabilities protections for equal access to websites and mobile applications. The ADA requires that “public accommodations,” including private company websites and web-based applications, provide equal access to information, functionality, and content.
Common barriers include poor color contrast, use of color alone to provide information, lack of Alt Tags on images, no captions on videos, inaccessible online forms, and mouse only navigation. Digital assets should allow for the use of assistive technologies to access the content and functionality of the site. In addition, they should be navigable and usable by users with disabilities and must provide alternatives for any content or functionality that is not accessible.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) provide standards to demonstrate reasonable accommodations. WCAG has three (3) conformance level standards, Level AA compliance (the second highest level) is the goal for acceptable compliance.
For the last few years, The Beckage Firm team members, including web developers and former web design business owners, have defended countless allegations of website/app inaccessibility, and related putative class actions. Our experience is that the plaintiffs’ bar is aggressive and large, and organizations of all sizes (even small Mom and Pop shops working out of their home) have been subject to federal lawsuits. No business is immune, and the potential damages, fees, and penalties are significant.
The law provides plaintiffs with the possible award of attorneys’ fees, which is one reason there has been a significant uptick in ADA website accessibility claim lawsuits across the country. Many of the current “tools” or alleged “quick fixes” to websites to make them ADA compliant are not sufficient, leaving organizations to think that they are protected, but they are not.
The Beckage Firm includes lawyers who are also technologists, web designers, app developers, security and privacy technologists and professionals, and owners of web design companies – so our experience in this space is unparalleled. We provide a variety of legal, practical, and technical services to help website owners comply with accessibility regulations and laws.
How The Beckage Firm Can Help Your Organization
These services are provided to help website and mobile app owners understand their legal obligations related to accessibility. We evaluate your website and mobile app for high-risk development and coding practices and outline a remediation plan. Our consulting is based upon legal risk and compliance concerns. We understand there are often limitations, e.g., budget or capabilities, and we measure that against the risk your digital asset may present.
We adopt a Train the Trainer approach, where while we are consulting, we are training your teams to spot legal issues, remedy them, but also learn how to approach development and legal compliance going forward.
Litigation defense & settlement representation
If a website or mobile app owner is facing an ADA accessibility claim, demand, or lawsuit related to accessibility, we provide litigation defense and settlement representation.
As websites are dynamic in nature and always changing, along with the laws that govern them, it’s important to provide periodic reviews to reduce the risk of accessibility claims. Ongoing compliance reviews help a website and app owner become and remain compliant with accessibility laws and regulations.
The Beckage Firm also facilitates policy development by incorporating accessibility in all aspects of website and app development and maintenance, including content creation and design. External and internal policy development, and governance matters, are core to our ADA accessibility development practice.
Accessibility statements and plans
We assist website and app owners to create accessibility statements and plans that demonstrate their commitment to accessibility and outline the steps they have taken to make the website accessible to those with disabilities.
Training and education
Training and education services are provided to website owners, developers, and content creators to help them understand the importance of accessibility and how to create accessible content. These services include workshops and online courses that cover topics such as web accessibility guidelines, accessibility best practices, and how to use assistive technologies. By providing training and education, website and mobile app owners can confirm that their team understands the importance of accessibility and how to create accessible content, helping to make their website and apps more user-friendly and accessible for people with disabilities.
Accessibility audit services by our internal developers involve a thorough examination of a website and mobile app to identify any accessibility issues and to determine how well the site conforms to web accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.1. These services include a review of the digital asset’s code, content, and design. This allows website and mobile app owners to understand their accessibility strengths and weaknesses and take the necessary steps to help improve accessibility.
Remediation services involve addressing any accessibility issues identified in an accessibility audit. This can include updating the website or app’s code and design, adding alternative text for images, and improving the site's keyboard navigation. We focus on prioritizing low or no cost fixes that your organization can make to help limit the risk of accessibility claims.