What Do You Have To Gain From Your Website Being ADA Compliant?

Do you need an incentive to make your website ADA compliant? Given the number of lawsuits that are being filed regarding this issue (more on that in a bit) we are going to guess that you do. Look, we get it, it is going to require a lot of time and a lot of effort and that may not be something that you can do right now or afford. The holiday season is coming and you just might not have the time but you should at least put some effort into it and there are very good reasons to do so.

Who Needs To Be ADA Compliant?

Now, not every website needs to be ADA compliant or are subject to the ADA Act. Private businesses with more than 15 people on the payroll, local and state public sectors, public facilities, non-profit entities and any online business need to have every part of their business ADA compliant and that includes your website. Also if you work with the Federal government in any capacity your business needs to be ADA compliant.

That covers most websites that are out there. It does not cover your personal blog site, so you don’t need to worry about that as long as you don’t sell anything on it. It wouldn’t hurt to make that ADA compliant but you won’t get sued over it, not yet anyway.

So, What’s In It For Me?

Your website may have been built years ago before this became an issue and you might have a lot of catching up to do. That takes time and a lot of effort, either on your part or on the part of those that you hire to achieve compliance. That alone has kept a lot of people from wanting to move forward but there are good reasons to at least get started, much less get your site into compliance.

Legal

The most obvious reason for getting started and the biggest reason for you are the number of lawsuits being filed. Lawsuits cost money and it could cost lots of money. It costs money to hire a lawyer and it costs money as part of a settlement and in the end you will then need to pay to get your website ADA compliant anyway. So why not just save the legal fees and do it now?

At the same time the legal system recognizes that this can be a lengthy process and it cannot be done overnight, even though you have had plenty of time to get moving. If you have started the process and are subjected to a lawsuit just by proving that you have started the process can get the lawsuit put on hold or dismissed entirely. The focus of the suit is to get your site ADA compliant and if you are taking care of it then the case becomes moot.

More Potential Customers

Do you want to turn away customers? Very few businesses or entities have the luxury of doing so. By not maintaining an ADA compliant website you are doing just that. The rise of the online economy has benefited many people and among them are disabled people. Nearly anything can be purchased online and shipped to the home, perfect for someone who has a disability and may not want or have the ability to go out. If those people cannot access your website they cannot do business with it and you have lost them as a customer. They will go to a competitor to make their purchase.

You are probably thinking that this would be a rare situation but it isn’t. According to the National Service and Inclusion Project around 48.9 million Americans have some sort of disability and 24.1 million have a severe disability and those numbers are from the 1990s. The number has certainly expanded since. That is a lot of potential customers that you could be alienating or attracting with an ADA compliant website! Whether your business is just local or national, you don’t want to turn away customers.

Your Checkbook

Do you like tax credits? Of course you do and you probably like to hunt for them every tax season. By reaching and maintaining an ADA compliant website you will be able to get a tax break when it comes time to do those taxes. According to the IRS website the tax credit is available for businesses that have a total revenue of less than $1 million during the previous tax year or fewer than 30 full time employees. It can cover up to 50% of the expenditures up to $10,000 to offset the cost of making your website (or business) more accessible and ADA compliant. So you could get a $5,000 tax credit. Sweet!

That’s a pretty good chunk of change there. You could look at it like you are getting your website ADA compliant at half price. On top of being able to save any legal fees and attorney fees, suddenly ADA compliance can be done for a lot less than you thought. So, what are you waiting for? Lawsuits are being filed and Pennsylvania has the third most number of lawsuits in 2017-2018. They haven’t come for you yet but it may just be a matter of time.

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