UNITED LEGAL TEAM ASKS, "ARE NON ADA COMPLIANT WEBSITES SEGREGATING AMERICAN CONSUMERS?"

Internet accessibility conceptual key on computer keyboard

Internet accessibility keyboard concept

ADA compliant websites are not just a suggestion; they are a civil right protected by law.

Websites must be accessible and to argue differently is indefensible. Just like other civil rights movements, it’s time we all have access to drink from the same water fountain – the Internet.”

— Aluko Collins

HUNTSVILLE, UNITED STATES, November 8, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — ADA compliant websites are not a suggestion; they are a civil right protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Shopping online became possible in 1991, and 30 years later, the overwhelming majority of websites are not accessible according to an annual study of over one million sites conducted by WebAim. The study revealed that of the 1 million websites tested in 2021, 97.4% of home pages had detected WCAG 2 failures. This was down slightly from 98.1% in February 2020. Since 1991 there have technological advancements which have reshaped our lives with innovations like digital music and cryptocurrency, Zoom and Facetime, “apps” and private space travel. When questioned about the lack of accessibility Aluko Collins said "One would think that with all the readily available technology that businesses would make privately browsing the Internet fully accessible and convenient to the disabled."

In 2016, more than 7 million individuals in America were visually disabled.* By 2020, Americans spent nearly 20% of more than $4 trillion on e-commerce.** The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Americans to rely on websites to meet their needs across all industries. The Internet is no longer used as only a convenience. 93% of American adults use the Internet in 2021.*** "For the visually disabled, the pandemic became a deadly catch-22. Orders were to shelter in place, but with websites inaccessible, the disabled were forced to choose whether to risk their lives by shopping in person. At the same time, the sighted were able to shop online, minimizing their risk," said Aluko Collins.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)Title III requires that every owner, lessor, or operator of a “place of public accommodation” provide equal access to users who meet ADA standards for disability. “I hate to say it, but it seems many businesses owners and ADA defense attorneys they hire simply do not care,” said Aluko Collins. The DOJ has settled numerous lawsuits with businesses and governments. These settlements are with household names, like H&R Block, Miami University, City of Vero Beach, City of Fallon, Wells Fargo, and its latest, Rite Aid, on November 1, 2021. The clear message is that websites are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and will be enforced accordingly.

"Accessible websites are equivalent to a wheelchair ramp, accessible bathrooms, and parking spaces at a physical store. Those all seem like practical solutions, but at one time, they were controversial. ADA compliant websites are not a suggestion; they are a civil right and must interact properly with their assistive technology. Are businesses really okay with blatantly discriminating against a whole group of Americans? If so, beware," said collins.

Business owners shouldn't wait to make changes to their website when they receive a demand letter or a get served. "Websites must be accessible and to argue differently is indefensible. Just like other civil rights movements, it’s time we all have access to drink from the same water fountain – the Internet,” said Collins. In The Department of Justice's settlement with Rite Aid, Rite Aid agreed to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.1, Level AA, and to regularly test the site. "Businesses must become aware of the potential pitfalls of not having an accessible site, it may prove to be costly," said Collins.

If you are a business owner who has any questions or would like more information about the website accessibility, you may contact Aluko Collins at acollins@unitedlegalteam.com, or 888.457.1495.

*https://nfb.org/resources/blindness-statistics
**Source: Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data; updated February 2021
(Total retail figures exclude sales of items not normally purchased online such as spending at restaurants, bars, automobile dealers, gas stations and fuel dealers)
**(https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/

Aluko Collins
United Legal Team
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Source: EIN Presswire