Has your organization received a demand letter stating that your website is in violation of the ADA because it’s not accessible to individuals with disabilities?

Haven’t gotten one yet, but worried you might be at risk? In either case, you’re not alone. Thousands of companies are in the same boat—from big brands to small niche businesses—with the number of web accessibility cases under the ADA growing exponentially since 2015 and showing no signs of slowing.

Over the last 20 years Level Access has worked with countless organizations facing ADA compliance litigation due to inaccessible websites and mobile apps.

Connect with an ADA Compliance Specialist

ADA compliance for web and mobile

Where Do You Start?

  1. Find a Qualified Web Accessibility Consultant – Secure a web accessibility consultant that is qualified and can support implementing the requirements. Typically this is an expert that is mutually agreeable to both parties.
  2. Have a Plan – Develop a credible plan for web accessibility that includes any fixes to outstanding issues. We’d counsel that you expose this plan publicly or, at a minimum, indicate it exists and offer to provide it to parties with reasonable interest.
  3. Get an Audit – Perform an initial audit of the website to discover accessibility issues. Typically, this includes a technical audit under a standard like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  4. Perform User Testing – Ensure that the website is tested by end users with disabilities. Typically, this is required specifically for the disability type represented by the plaintiff – notably people that are blind or visually impaired.
  5. Monitor Your Compliance – Monitor the site for compliance on an ongoing basis. This includes quarterly monitoring of the full site for accessibility via a scanning tool and an annual audit. Some lawsuits cite this as a “periodic” basis, others require ongoing monitoring.
  6. Add an Accessibility Page – Provide an accessibility section of the website linked to from the footer of the site.  Occasionally, it is requested that this is provided via the International Sign of Accessibility (ISA).   The ISA then links to a page that provide an overview of the accessibility program covering the accessibility program information, facts, policies and accommodations.
  7. Define Feedback and Support Channels – Provide a method for users to provide accessibility feedback to the organization and get support for accessibility issues.   Generally, this is providing some contact information for web accessibility questions.  Sometimes these items are co-mingled, sometimes separated out.  For our purposes we’d counsel implementing them in conjunction to ensure a good user experience. Clearly the method of providing this feedback and getting this support needs to, itself, be accessible.
  8. Develop CSR Process and Training – Ensure that there is a method and training to both receive requests for accessibility and handle and escalate them properly. Ensure that your customer success representatives have training on working with people with disabilities, identify accessibility issues and can route them properly for resolution.
  9. Train Your Developers – Annual or every other year training for everyone that touches the site and may impact it’s accessibility on the relevant requirements. This generally includes both people in development roles as well as people in content creation roles.
  10. Define a Web Accessibility Coordinator/Committee – Ensure that there is a specific person responsible for implementing web accessibility – typically referred to as a web accessibility coordinator. Occasionally, there are references to a web accessibility committee which is basically a higher level guiding body that governs digital accessibility.
  11. Create Your Policy – Implement a web accessibility policy, which should include a statement relating to what your overall intent is (full and equal access), technical standards targeted for compliance (WCAG 2.1 is our default recommendation), that you perform user testing with disabilities (you should) and that if people have issues they should use the following approach to report them to you. Often it is requested that this be linked via the ISA from the homepage.