Sometimes getting companies to do the right thing requires a little push. This is exactly what Juan Carlos Gil did in 2017 when he brought Winn-Dixie to court for their lack of ADA website compliance.
The need for accessibility doesn’t solely exist in the realm of physical needs. Our ever-growing dependence on digital media requires us to make it accessible to everyone.
In this blog, we take a look at Gil’s case and how the ADA works when people take action.
Legal Action Kicks Companies into Compliance
The ruling of Judge Robert Scola of the Southern District of Florida acknowledges the major role of many websites. In the 2017 case, he states the website’s heavy integration with local stores makes it subject to the ADA’s regulations.
Winn-Dixie’s website enables shoppers to:
- Transfer Prescriptions via Online Forms
- Use an Online Medicare Plan Finder
- Refill Prescriptions from an Online Account
- Locate Nearby Stores
- Purchase Groceries Online from Local Stores
- Have Online Purchases Delivered to Your Door
- Print and Redeem Coupons Online
- And More
Many of these services are extremely helpful for disabled shoppers. However, they can’t access them if they can’t navigate the website. It’s a perfect example of common digital hurdles for the disabled.
Yet it’s not the only lesson here.
Gil’s actions also serve as an example for us. It shows how one individual can use the ADA’s guidelines in order to make a necessary change. The ADA holds companies accountable, but only if you use it.
Winn-Dixie is just one of 70 lawsuits Gil filed against companies whose websites didn’t align with ADA compliance standards. Since then, there have been several changes made to the requirements, as well as the ADA Education and Reform Act passed by Congress in February 2018.
However, the ADA’s guidelines still exist and compliance is still an important issue that businesses need to address.
The ADA Guidelines for Websites
Every good business wants to be available to all of its consumers. But what does an ADA compliant website look like? If you aren’t familiar with what the ADA guidelines for websites look like, you’ll want to start with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The WCAG consists of 12 guidelines:
- Provide Text Alternatives for non-text content (Alt Text)
- Provide alternatives for time-based media
- Either design or provide or layout alternative friendly toward disabled users. Alternatives should not lose any original information or structure
- Make viewing and hearing content easier for disabled users, even if it separates the foreground from the background
- Ensure your website can be fully navigated using a keyboard
- Modify moving sections so users can pause or delay them
- Clearly label pages and sections
- Eliminate design elements that can trigger seizures
- Use navigational tools that enable disabled users to find, browse, and understand the content
- Ensure all content can be read by assistance programs
- Keep navigation consistent across the entire website
- Design so that its compatible with existing and future assistive technologies
These guidelines work together to make websites more perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Help Your Business Adhere to ADA Website Compliance
If you don’t have a capable web developer on your staff, don’t fret. You can make your website ADA compliant using available third-party services. User1st is one of many companies who help businesses adapt their websites.
If your business is looking for resources in order to make your website adhere to ADA website compliance, Dreamscape Foundation is happy to help.
Contact us today for more information.