Illinois companies must make sites accessible for blind, visually impaired, lawsuits say – Chicago Tribune
Last week, The Chicago Tribune published a piece detailing the recent accessibility filings against Kmart, Empire Today, and Ace Hardware. The plaintiff, Kayla Reed, alleged “…running websites and mobile apps that blind and visually impaired people can’t read also means denying potential customers products and services, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act”.
Ms. Reed specifically noted that she could not complete a purchase on Kmart.com because the purchase process was not accessible. She went on to describe that links on Kmart’s app also lacked accessibility elements so she was unable to navigate the app. The article goes on to address other recent accessibility lawsuits such as the suits filed in June against Grubhub and McDonald’s (April).
The point we wanted to address is from David French who is a senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation. In regards to compliance, he gave the following statement: “Keeping websites accessible under those conditions is a constant game of catch-up.”
At ADASure, we regularly talk to people that share the same feelings as Mr. French. It’s understandable that companies have questions and perhaps need training, however; arguing that the guidelines change too often is just not valid. The guidelines have been in place for almost a decade so lack of awareness or arguing that they’re changing too often is baseless. The standard for accessibility, WCAG 2.0, has been in place since 2008 per Judy Brewer who is director of the Web Accessibility Initiative at the World Wide Web Consortium.
We’ve used these specific guidelines to conduct over 2,000 audits. Each audit involves digital compliance officers, QA, developers, and others. Auditing is a large effort that takes time to do an exhaustive review. As we continue the transition from brick and mortar stores to online purchasing, it is critical that companies produce websites, apps, and other digital collateral that are just as accessible as their stores.
ADASure is an expert in compliance auditing. We are a member of the Web Accessibility Initiative and are on a committee that helps to test and review guidelines. If you feel lost due to the changes and complexity, then reach out to us. We offer free consultations and reasonable pricing for auditing and training.
Let us make accessibility easy for you. Call us at: (888) ADA-8605
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