Nathan Mayfield, Vice President of ResNexus: Elevating industries, one business at a time, through service, innovation and education.
As business owners, we should do all we can to make our businesses accessible to all of our clients. As more businesses move into the digital space and websites are becoming ubiquitous, there is a growing need to ensure not only your physical business but also your website is accessible in order to provide equal access to all and be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A Brief History Of The ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act was originally passed in 1990 as a way to ensure those with disabilities weren’t unfairly treated and had equal access to buildings and services. While the ADA does not specifically address websites, Title III of the ADA (which requires public accommodation for people with disabilities) has been interpreted to cover websites, according to the National Law Review. This lack of official standards can leave businesses susceptible to lawsuits if they’re in violation of Title III of the ADA.
As the vice president of a property management platform, I helped ensure that our website and online booking engine came into compliance to protect our properties from ADA noncompliance lawsuits. I’ve also helped teach our clients about ADA guidelines, and our software has a built-in ADA checker to ensure it’s accessible to everyone.
Through this experience, I’ve also seen a number of small-business owners who don’t know much about ADA compliance or are intimidated by ADA requirements. Although I’m not a legal expert in ADA compliance, I want to share what I’ve learned and offer a few best practices for updating your website and weathering the storm should you face a lawsuit:
1. Follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The World Wide Web Consortium