Is Your Website Accessible?

The CDC reports that 61 million Americans are currently registered as disabled with an average annual spending power of 490 billion dollars. Globally, there are 1.3 billion people within the disabled community with an annual spending power of 8 trillion dollars and growing due to population growth.

Making your website accessible means that you’re now reaching out to 20% more of the population that was not there before by default. It also means that more people will be talking about your company and attracted to your inclusive ethos. Wouldn’t you want to buy a product or service from an ethically responsible business that cares about it’s customers?

61 million Americans are currently registered as disabled
61 million Americans are currently registered as disabled

What is Web Accessibility?

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is essentially a set of rules, behaviors, code standards, and design guidelines that were created by the W3C and are called the WCAG 2.1.

The WCAG 2.1 is a massive 1,000-page guidebook that encapsulates a range of disabilities that go from hindering internet use to making internet use impossible without adjustments.

There are many disabilities covered, and the primary categories that require attention are:

  • blind people using screen-readers,
  • the motor-impaired using only the keyboard to navigate,
  • epilepsy, color blindness,
  • cognitive and learning disabilities,
  • visual impairments, and more.

About the Legislation

I wish I could tell you that the exponential increase in demand for web accessibility has been a result of everyone coming to understand that business owners and people with disabilities have so much to mutually gain from this endeavor.

Frankly, ADA compliance lawsuits are on nothing short of an intense rise. 200% year over year, with reports of 10’s of thousands of demand letters and lawsuits, targeting businesses of all sizes. At first, only the largest of enterprises and government institutions were legally pressured to become accessible, which makes sense. One of the most significant shifts in the legal climate was when the DOJ officially affirmed that all websites are considered public accommodations. Many did not think for a second that it will ever happen to them, but that was not the case at all.

In fact, 2019 ended up tripling 2018 in the number of papers served. This means that for every business hour in 2019, a business was served for not being web accessible. You will also find that in almost every situation, the plaintiff wins the case on its merits because it’s a strict liability law and judges are often understandably sympathetic to people with disabilities who really only want equal rights. There is virtually no chance of winning an ADA case when you’re not compliant. The lawyers simply advise their clients to write a check since there is no point in fighting it.

A quick example of what’s going on as well: A visually impaired woman from Broward County, Florida sued 175 business owners several of which closed down as a result.

Now in the 2020 Covid era, we’re seeing those in quarantine have less access to physical locations and amenities, and they are finding more difficulty in accessing the web for essential services.

legislation chart

The Market

market options

What makes the situation even more difficult for business owners are the current alternatives. The current options in the market today are either free or low-cost plugins that do not provide you more than 10-15% of the accessibility you need in order to become compliant.

You also have manual accessibility services that do bring you up to full compliance, but they cost 20-40 thousand dollars per site, they take several weeks or months to implement, and the worst part is the tedious and costly maintenance. Imagine spending all of that time and money and coming to understand that every time you want to make a change or revision to your site, you have to either spend 1000s of dollars or sacrifice a significant amount of the accessibility that you worked so hard to attain.

Those options, as you can imagine, leave 99% of businesses without a feasible solution, making them easy targets for lawsuits and prevents them from helping people with disabilities.

The Options

When it comes to ADA compliance the Competitive Landscape is comprised of three different types of solutions out there:

1. Manual Remediation- Experts in web accessibility conform your website in favor of accessibility to achieve a high level of compliance. This increases the cost of the website by an average of 200% extra. This also does not include the cost of the audit and ongoing maintenance to ensure ongoing compliance. Websites under 1,000 pages can cost $15K per year not including the maintenance. Not to mention it takes 4-26 weeks to make your website compliant (the first time).

2. Free or low-cost widgets and other generic alternatives: These only handle CSS adjustments for low visual impairments and epilepsy, and only touch upon up to 25% of the WCAG requirements (means inaccessible).

You have to hire someone to work on the site to get it up to compliance and if you have work on your site from then on you may have to hire them again to make it compliant again.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Fully automated from audit to ongoing maintenance. Includes CSS adjustments for visual impairments, epilepsy, color blindness, cognitive and learning disabilities by way of the search bar for definitions. It also includes the back end 75% of the WCAG requirements which include: assistive technology optimization, aria attributes, elemental structural roles and provides alt tags for images using OCR and IRIS Ai technologies. If this is used and changes are made to the site the proprietary AI adjusts to make it more compliant.

the options

Our Solution

our solution

Our accessibility tool is an AI-powered machine-learning software that was developed with the understanding that successfully automating the process creates a simple, immediate, affordable, and compliant solution that serves as a win-win for the business owner and people with disabilities, who just want equal access to the internet.

This solution was developed side by side with leading experts in accessibility and assistive technologies in order to ensure the highest success rate in the industry with respect to going above and beyond the standards for compliance.

This is evident in the fact that none of our clients have ever received a compliance lawsuit after implementing our solution.