The digital world has evolved to become our real world. Think about how you operate your life these days. Where do you go to research something you want to buy? How do you keep in touch with friends and family? Where do you get your news? How do you order food for delivery? If you’re like me and millions of others, these activities are happening online.
Accessibility Challenges for the Disabled
Now, imagine that you are one of the 20% of the U.S. and worldwide populations that lives with a disability. How can a blind person surf the internet? How does a person with Parkinson’s or other motor disability, who isn’t able to use the mouse with sufficient precision, surf a website? Consider an epileptic person, who’s afraid to enter sites for fear of coming across animations that will trigger a seizure. This is the everyday accessibility challenges that people with disabilities face.
Legal Issues Surrounding Web Accessibility
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities in locations generally open to the public. The ADA specified that businesses and property owners were responsible for making their locations accessible for people with disabilities.
With today’s digital world playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that “the ADA applies to public accommodations’ websites,”
When companies essentially deny equal access because their website is incompatible with a screen reader, or has other accessibility issues, the companies also become vulnerable to lawsuits.
Luckily, technology has developed so that accessibility can now be offered for every disability, giving businesses protection from costly ADA penalties and accessibility lawsuits.
Take a look at some of the web accessibility legal trends of recent years:
- 200% increase in lawsuits and demand letters from 2017 to 2018
- DOJ affirms ADA applies to websites since November 2018
- 2019 tripled 2018 in papers served
- Over 150,000 demand letters served to businesses since 2017
- 93% of demand letters settle outside of court for $20,000 – $150,000 on average
- 7% of businesses fight and lose in court
Easy Web Accessibility Solution
Inner Architect has partnered with the only artificial intelligence powered compliance solution that makes web accessibility simple, automatic, immediate and affordable, and in compliance with the WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508 and other worldwide legislation.
Through our partnership, which uses AI and image recognition technologies, we can allow a blind person to surf the Internet almost entirely, thanks to screen reader programs combined with AI. Using the same technology, we can enable a person with Parkinson’s, or other motor impaired disability, to thoroughly surf a website using only one keyboard key. Thanks to these innovations, we can enable an epileptic person to stop all animations on a site immediately and completely, and surf freely without worry about triggering a seizure. For the elderly and people with cognitive impairment we can provide a built-in expression, slang, and phrase dictionary accessible from the ADA compliant website.
Previously, the only way to make a site fully accessible came at a cost of thousands upon thousands of dollars and a monthly fee for accessibility services. This model is not feasible small- and medium-sized business owners who cannot invest for huge sums of money for web maintenance.