Web Content Accessibility for Business

NetCetra just went through a few years helping our clients upgrade their web sites to conform to Google’s requirements for “responsive” (easy to read on any device) and “secure visitor viewing” of your web site through https.

We have been watching the WCAG guidelines that were established in 2008. We felt, at the time, that it would not impact many of our clients for some time. Well, that time is here, along with the lawsuits due to the guidelines. The lawsuits are occurring because the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations are outdated. Here is a short outline of why over 1,000 businesses were sued in the first half of 2018.

  • You must provide non-text alternatives for any text content so that it can be clearly understood by a person with a disability. An example of this is a restaurant menu. It must offer an alternative of either very large text, audio or symbols.
  • Prerecorded video: An alternative must be offered to allow a person with a disability to understand the video. An example could be a video production explaining a product or service. Either an alternative for time-based media or an audio track is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded video-only content.
  • Captions for live and prerecorded media. Creating captions similar to text alternatives in the first point.

A complete description is available by searching for “How to Meet WCAG 2”.  Retailers and professional services are the most vulnerable at this time. The ADA is trying to address this.

Once regulations are established, litigation will fall under the government and not civil law suits.  It is recommended that you review your web site and decide how you can avoid this problem.

We believe that this is not only NOT going away but will become even more widespread in the future. A simple product like Google Translator, offered in over 100 languages, can eliminate the language barrier, however according to the ADA it is still a legal issue.

 

Jim Mahlmann

COO

NetCetra LLC

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