New report finds that many businesses feel victimized by requests from the disability community for equal access to Websites and mobile apps. While ADA-based claims have risen steadily since 2016, the new report by Heather Sullivan of NBC 12 in Virginia finds that many businesses are still unaware of Website accessibility.
The report interviews a blind user, Maryetta Grabowski on her experience using a screen reader to navigate Websites and cites UsableNet's 2018 lawsuit recap report. A screen reader is a type of assistive technology that the majority of people who are blind rely on to use their computers. Users with other visual impairments and those with learning disabilities or who have never learned to read also often rely on screen readers.
"We asked Maryetta Grabowski, who is blind, to show us how her screen reader reads website information aloud to her, enabling her to book rides, get news and shop online.
After a search, the screen reader announces a product she’s looking for, 'Vitamin B complex, made in the USA.'
If a website is not formatted to work with a screen reader, a blind person can’t use the site. Grabowski says she usually just lets the company know.
'The more we let them know it’s not accessible, it’s to our benefit,' she said.
But some other blind people across the country, and their attorneys, have filed lawsuits. Last year, 2,285 lawsuits were filed nationwide, according to the UsableNet research team, against banks, hotels, stores and restaurants. The lawsuits are based on a 2017 court ruling that websites fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act." Read the article in full here.
As our own Jason Taylor, Chief Innovation Strategist at UsableNet told UPI in a report earlier this year, the general public is unaware of website accessibility but very responsive once issues are brought to their attention. "No companies really want to create barriers to customers and our clients are typically surprised how hard their sites are to use, and quickly look to understand and remedy the situation."
Where Do I start?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were developed in order to establish a single, shared standard for web content accessibility that would apply to organizations, individuals, and governments across the globe.
Regularly performing screen-reader tests, as we covered in a recent blog post, allows business to see which parts of a website are causing issues for users with disabilities. With this knowledge, you can quickly adapt and make impactful changes conform to WCAG and leave you confident that your website is accessible for everyone.
If you need a technology partner to guide your journey toward accessibility, UsableNet has you covered:
- UsableNet Assistive: We provide everything under this fully managed service that puts our developers and testers to work for you.
- UsableNet AQA: If you’ve got the technical side well in hand, do it yourself on our platform, and we’re happy to help where needed.
We’d love to help you get started in this process. Contact us for a free consultation.