Website Accessibility Inspection:
Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Members

We analyzed the websites for the members affiliated with the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. What we found in a review of almost seven hundred websites was thousands of compliance barriers affecting those with disabilities.

BEVERLY HILLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS: AMERICAN WITH DISABILITIES ACT APPLIES ONLINE

WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY INSPECTION: What is Website Compliance and Why it Matters / March 31st, 2020

Why Read This Report

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a series of testing criteria to help guide website owners in creating a website that is accessible to those with disabilities. The number of website accessibility lawsuits is increasing. All sites are at risk of being sued if they do not demonstrate they are accessible to people with disabilities. 

The purpose of this report is to inform businesses of the importance of website compliance, the most common barriers affecting websites today, and recommendations on how to remediate website accessibility barriers best. 

Key Takeaways

  • In an inspection of Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce members, the websites reviewed do not comply with accessibility standards and guidelines.
  • This issue is catching businesses off guard, with thousands of new website accessibility lawsuits filed annually. 
  • There are over 50 million people in the United States with disabilities that would affect their use of a website requiring reasonable accommodations.
  • Business owners and website developers have a limited understanding of website accessibility guidelines (Alternatives, Presentation, User Control, Understandable, and Predictable).
Online Accessibility is The New Standard 

In the United States, Online Accessibility is now standard for any online property owned and operated by a business or public entities - adding more complexity to the changing digital landscape. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses and public entities provide qualified individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs, services, or activities. Websites now have features for disabled users. 

Users with disabilities use assistive technology, enabling them to use computers and access the Internet. The blind use screen readers – devices that speak the text that appears on a monitor. People with difficulty using a mouse use voice recognition and verbal commands to control computers. Users with other types of disabilities use other assistive technology, with new and innovative tools introduced daily.

Websites designed poorly create unnecessary barriers for disabled users. Website developers may not realize how simple features built into web pages assist users who, for example, can't see a monitor or use a mouse. There is currently no law governing website accessibility, but this is expected to change. Guidelines to govern government websites apply to private websites. These guidelines, categorized into five sections, are: Alternatives, Presentation, User Control, Understandable, and Predictable.

Inspection Methodology 

In a review of over seven hundred Beverly Hills Chamber Commerce members, an analysis of applicable website homepages is aggregated and reviewed for common compliance barriers.

Request the full fifteen-page inspection below

What does it take to make a website compliant?

Web programmers specializing in compliance barriers will review the code on your current site, looking for areas that would greatly benefit from ADA compliant website improvements. Understanding the goals of the website and the volume of improvements needed, an implementation plan is developed. How Customer data is stored, managed, and used is also reviewed for GDPR and CCPA compliance. Remediation of compliance barriers can span from full website creation to tweaks and changes to balance costs and timing with compliance. Recommendations to best manage customer information are provided, and a policy is developed. Following any changes, documentation of the improvements and ongoing testing and maintenance is performed.
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WEBSITE COMPLIANCE IS THE NEW STANDARD

What happens when your website is not compliant?

A company’s first violation of ADA compliance can be anywhere between $55,000 and $75,000. A second violation increases to $110,000 to $150,000. When your website is not ADA compliant, you could face serious financial setbacks in fines and penalties. If your site doesn’t utilize ADA compliant website design at all, it may become more difficult to keep up with the changing standards when it’s time to switch. Having a baseline of following ADA accessibility standards will make it easier to upgrade when guidelines change. In short, your website does not perform as well on search engine rankings when you do not adhere to ADA compliant web design. Using ADA compliance solutions ensures that anyone can access the info and services on your site, not just those

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