WCAG & Section 508 Compliance and Accessiblity
Did you know that if your website is not ADA compliant, you risk fines of up to $196,548 for the first offense alone? According to recent statistics, the number of Title III ADA lawsuits that were filed in the first half of 2022 increased to over 7,000, which is a significant increase compared to the previous years. It’s worth noting that fines and lawsuits can vary depending on the severity and duration of the violation, so it’s essential for businesses to ensure their websites and other digital platforms are fully accessible to avoid potential legal action.
If you take the step to make your website accessible, you might find yourself with a big edge over the competition. People with disabilities are likely to become loyal customers of websites that work well for them, and word-of-mouth marketing can be significant among these groups.
The increasing provision of Web-based information resources has moved from a simple text interface to dynamic and interactive designs. While this move has provided people with a more creative and flexible experience, there are dangers that some people will be excluded because they cannot use standard methods of access. Research has shown that people with disabilities are most at risk of being excluded from access, and in particular people who are blind or visually impaired and who use assistive technologies such as screen readers.
How important is WCAG compliance?
WCAG compliance is essential for creating websites and digital content that are accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. Meeting the WCAG guidelines ensures that people with visual, auditory, motor, cognitive, and other disabilities can access information and navigate the web with ease.
Is WCAG legally required?
While there are no universal laws mandating compliance with WCAG guidelines, many countries and regions have enacted legislation that requires adherence to these standards. For instance, in the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been interpreted by courts as applying to websites and requiring compliance with WCAG.
What is WCAG vs 508 vs ADA?
WCAG, 508, and ADA are all related to digital accessibility, but they refer to different standards and regulations. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make web content accessible to all individuals. Section 508 is a US federal law that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law in the US that prohibits discrimination based on disability and has been interpreted as applying to websites and requiring compliance with WCAG.