In 2012, Netflix was under fire for failing to provide sufficient closed captioning on some shows. Back then, the streaming service landscape was not as mainstream as today. Netflix had to face a Web Accessibility Lawsuits brought by the National Association of the Deaf. Nike faced a similar lawsuit in 2017, but this time, they failed to cater to screen readers. Despite its beautiful website UI – user interface – it still could not cater to a chunk of its potential customers.
Amazon, too had its share of web content accessibility guidelines-related controversy. Once again, a screen reader was at the center of attention when it couldn’t read aloud the texts on the website. All these lawsuits against these websites have one thing in common. They all failed to make their website accessible to the differently abled.
What is a Web Accessibility Lawsuit?
You might face a web accessibility lawsuit if your website isn’t ADA and WCAG compliant. As we’ve seen above, websites that fail to cater to specially-abled users have to face such repercussions. Whatever type of website you run or content you post, you might have to deal with such lawsuits if the website isn’t accessible to people irrespective of their abilities.
Only big corporations or websites like Amazon and Nike would have to face such lawsuits in the past. After all, these giants should know better. Recently, however, even smaller companies and websites are facing such lawsuits. That’s because accessibility is a major issue, and it’s difficult to overlook it. Thus, it’s necessary that those overseeing its implementation make sure websites follow WCAG and ADA accessibility guidelines.
How to Make Your Website More Accessible and Avoid Lawsuits
You need to make a website for the following reasons:
- To make it user-friendly for specially-abled people.
- accessible for people irrespective of their abilities.
- To make your content reach people irrespective of their abilities.
So, you have to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone. To do that, here are a few things you must do.
1. Audit Your Website
You must first audit your website to discover accessibility gaps. It is a must if you built the site without taking accessibility issues into account. Get expert help for this as you have to meet several regulations and standards.
Web accessibility solution providers like accessible can help you out regarding this. See what you need to do for WCAG compliance from accessiBe and its experts. Once you receive their suggestions, move on to implementing them accordingly.
2. Rethink the Design- Web Accessibility Lawsuits
In some cases, you might want to redesign the whole website to have a new and refreshing look and is more accessible. If you plan on doing so, let specially-abled people join your design team. Even if they don’t contribute technically, they can still be a part of the design process.
The more the variation in this team, the better. You can have people with visual impairments, people who need hearing devices, and so on work together to make the design better. Businesses across the world bring in such variations and diversity in their teams to make their products and services more diverse. It’s an efficient way for you to improve your web accessibility too.
3. Making Your Visuals Accessible
People with visual impairments rely on screen readers. The screen readers go through the text on your website and read it out loud. That’s how these users can navigate the website.
While screen readers can read text, they can’t read images. However, there’s a way to manage that as well. Add alt text to your images and captions to your videos. These additions will enable the screen readers to interpret visuals for the user.
Make the texts as descriptive as possible. That will allow the user to visualize the images and videos better.
Captions are also vital for people with hearing impairments. Since they can’t hear the audio, they rely on on-screen captions synchronized with the images to understand what’s going on.
4. Boost Accessibility with Colors
To boost accessibility with colors, you must use colors on the opposite ends of the color wheel. That allows for greater contrast and makes the content more accessible to colorblind users.
Along with playing with the colors, you might also want to add other style elements too. For instance, you can highlight a clickable link using a different color. However, a colorblind user might fail to understand it. So, to make it more accessible to them, underline the link.
5. Avoid Placing Ads with the Main Content
Ads within your main content can confuse screen readers. As a result, the user will fail to understand what the text or content is saying. Instead, have a designated area for ads, preferably on one side. Don’t let the ads interfere with the content and screen readers.
Also Read: Reign LearnDash Addon
The Bottom Lines of Web Accessibility Lawsuits
That’s all for now. Ensuring these things will help make your website more accessible and allow you to avoid lawsuits. However, always keep yourself updated on the latest ADA and WCAG guidelines. Talk to experts to learn more about how you can ensure web accessibility for everyone, irrespective of their abilities.