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Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a set of standards for online and mobile content developed by technology and accessibility experts to fully address consumers with accessibility issues. Repeated court rulings have extended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to not only cover a business’s physical locations but also internet and mobile app sites. As more consumers frequent online channels to perform a myriad of everyday functions, it is important for businesses to understand WCAG requirements. The recent and ongoing pandemic is driving ever increasing numbers of consumers inside to online channels. A plethora of new websites and mobile apps developed and implemented in response to the pandemic may be facilitating an increase in sites that fail to comply with WCAG guidelines.
A recent analysis by accessiBe found that 98 percent of websites failed in at least one WCAG compliance guideline in multiple areas, including restaurant menus, popups, forms and buttons. While the likelihood of expensive lawsuits is frequently used to motivate offending businesses to pay attention and correct failing websites and apps, a 2019 report revealed that retailers lose billions of dollars each year in sales due to consumer frustration with non-compliant websites. By ensuring ADA compliance, businesses make certain that consumers with disabilities have the equal access they deserve.
Last year alone, 2,235 lawsuits were filed against businesses with websites or apps that allegedly violated the ADA. More than 66% were against popular retailers, and 60% against top restaurants. In the era of social and purpose driven marketing, failing to maintain digital marketing channels that are in compliance is inexcusable, regardless of company size. So why have so many companies missed the opportunity to make their online presence compliant?
As with nearly all new regulatory mandates, the requirements for compliance tend be a moving target as changes and clarifications are added to the initial version of the law. Each advance in digital technology opens the door for regulatory changes. The most recent version, WCAG 2.1, adds new criteria to address the needs of those who have low-level vision, cognitive disabilities, and learning disabilities. The new guidelines also assist in removing mobile technology barriers. Confused?
Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) is able to quickly adapt any current website and provide certification of compliance without sacrificing great design. Junction’s solution allows real-time monitoring utilizing the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-based learning tools. “Our system is fully customizable, from colors, sizes, and icons to positioning. We align the solution to meet our clients’ brand requirements so that the experience is seamless for all users, regardless of disability or limitations,” says Julie Gareleck, Junction founder and CEO. With 24×7, 365 per year monitoring, the solution provides WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508, and EN 301549 compliance and ensures that clients’ websites stay certified and up-to-date.
For more on how Junction can relieve you of the worry of WCAG compliance, call 678-686-1125 today.