Lawsuits over digital accessibility rose sharply in 2021, increasing by 14% over 2020. Lawyers are actively seeking out these cases because they are often easy to win and result in a financial award for their clients. To avoid being on the receiving end of one of these lawsuits, it is critical to follow digital accessibility laws in 2022. 

Digital Accessibility Laws in 2022

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital accessibility is removing barriers to using websites for people with physical or intellectual disabilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, not only is providing digital accessibility a good thing to do, but it is also the law.

 

Both of these acts prevent discrimination against people with physical and intellectual disabilities. 

How Can I Properly Follow Digital Accessibility Laws in 2022?

First, it is important to know that if you have a website at all, it needs to have accessibility measures in place. It does not matter how small or large your business is. Accessibility laws apply to all.

 

There are a few different ways to follow digital accessibility laws:

 

  • Provide large text options so individuals with vision impairments can more easily read any information on your site.
  • Add descriptive alt tags to all images. These tags give screen readers the ability to “read” the images to people.
  • Use a variety of media types on your website. If you use video, make sure that you also have audio and written versions of the video available.
  • Write your content at a sixth-eighth grade level in order to make it accessible and easy to understand for people of all education levels.

 

Implementing these accessibility tools and tactics can help you avoid a lawsuit. Applied Development also advises having a professional in the space review your website to ensure that it checks all of the accessibility boxes.

 

You can learn more about what constitutes digital accessibility on the Web Accessibility Initiative website.  

What are the Consequences of Not Following These Laws?

Some organizations avoid fixing their accessibility issues on their website because they worry about the upfront costs. However, ignoring these issues can be extremely costly. If someone with a disability or a disability lawyer comes across your website and it is not accessible, you will receive an ADA Demand Letter.

 

You will need to review this letter with your legal team to make sure that it is valid. If it is, the first thing you should do is contact an agency that is proficient in ADA digital accessibility guidelines to have them review your site and make the necessary changes.

 

Making these changes swiftly is critical. At this point, you may be able to mitigate the lawsuit – or you may end up paying thousands of dollars in legal fees and still not win the lawsuit. We recommend getting out in front of the issue instead by getting your website up to code before a lawyer reaches out.

 

Applied Development can help ensure that you are following digital accessibility laws in 2022 by reviewing your website and executing the necessary changes. Give us a call today at 410.571.4016 or contact us online to get started.