Over the past year, website accessibility has become a hot topic in web design, as more and more businesses are being sued for not complying. In 2016, 6,601 businesses in the US were sued over website accessibility in federal court. Accessibility for all potential users has suddenly become vitally important for all website owners.
18.7% of the US population has some type of disability (2010 Census); that includes: 19.2 million people have difficulty lifting or grasping, making them unable to use a mouse; 15.2 million have a cognitive, mental, or emotional impairment; 8.1 million have some kind of vision impairment; and 7.6 million have a hearing impairment. Over 50% of adults with a disability use the internet daily, so its important that your website is accessible.
It's not just the right thing to do. If your website receives any government funding, the new section 508 guidelines require that your website complies to WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) by January 1st, 2018. Even if you don't have federal funding, your company may still be liable (Target learned this lesson, to the tune of 6 million dollars).
The new section 508 guidelines require all websites meet the following criteria:
Perceivable - a user sees and hears content of user interface
Operable - they can operate the interface - can't require a mouse only, keyboard only, etc.
Understandable - literacy, cognitive, mental or emotional disability
Robust - content needs to be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user tools and should remain accessible as those tools evolve
Want a complimentary audit? Call us at 612.605.0822 or contact your Minneapolis web design agency here. Last month we hosted a complimentary webinar, which can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/247017760; just e-mail us for the password!