In 2018 there were 2,285 ADA Title III lawsuits flooded federal courts concerning website accessibility in the United States. 2019 saw a jump of 7% over the suits filed in 2018 and 2020 is looking to continue this trend. Penalties can range from $5,000 to $55,000 for first offenses. Most business settle with the before
First examine the demand letter to confirm that the website in question is yours. Check the domain name for accuracy and take the complaint to your legal counsel of choice. They will advise you of the situation and provide you a recommended deadline for changes. The key to avoiding the need to settle or pay fines is to take the complaint seriously and begin mitigation as soon as possible.
Second step is to run your site through an accessibility evaluation tool like WAVE to identify most of the coding related deficiencies of your website. For most websites, repairing the identified changes will bring you most of the way towards compliance. The remaining and more difficult sections may require redesigning portions of your website to make it easier to understand for those using different technologies to browse your site.
The next step if you are unable to make the changes needed yourself is to contact your website’s Web Master or your IT department responsible for the site and request a ADA audit and estimated cost. If you don’t have a webmaster or you self-host then contact a website design firm, like Emax, for a ADA Compliance Website review and update quote. The firm should take the time to review your site, give you recommendations and finally a quote. To avoid the additional expense of rushed compliance it is crucial that you start the review and update process as early as possible.
Unfortunately ADA guidelines were written before the internet became what it is today. In such it doesn’t lay out specific conditions for website compliance. However there are standards being pressed by W3C that layout best practices and testing methods.
An important but often overlooked recommendation is to describe in detail the accommodations of your hotel and specifically the accessible rooms. Guests should have sufficient information about the accessibility of the property, available services and what to expect in the the accessible room of their choice. no customer likes to be surprised when they arrive and even more so for the customers with disabilities.
An additional step is to confirm that you have provided accessible inventory to your OTA’s. This inventory should be equivalent to what is offered in non-accessible room types. For example, if you have accessible and non accessible rooms with king bed and Queen beds then both should offered. The inventory offered to OTA’s can be a point of non-compliance if it can be determined that all accessible room types were not made available via the OTA.
|For more tips and to schedule a call to discuss your website please email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
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