I think that many are looking at accessibility in terms of “does this mean that I am legally required” to make my website accessible to avoid a lawsuit or some government action. Simply put – It might. It does mean that website owners can be sued.
But we already knew that. In Gil v. Winn-Dixie 2017, the court ruled that Winn-Dixie’s site had to be accessible. Target was sued in a class-action lawsuit in Feb 2006 under the ADA. Target initially fought back. In September 2006, a judge ruled that the lawsuit could go forward. Target then decided to settle.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. ADA web accessibility-related lawsuits exploded with a 181% increase in 2018 over 2017. In 2017, there were 814 cases. In 2018, we tracked 2285 lawsuits filed.
But fear of being sued is not the only factor. You should see it as a business question. Being accessible will allow you to reach a bigger audience. That is a quantifiable plus. And it is not just about blind users. I even used accessibility features a few years ago when I had an eye injury a few years back. It eventually healed, but while I was recovering, I used several aids to decrease strain and improve site readability.
Do you ever ask Siri, Alexa or Google to get information for you while walking or driving? If a site is accessible, you may get results read back to you.
Many of the changes that improve accessibility, also improve SEO. You do want people to be able to find your site, don’t you?
Some also make the website work better for mobile.
Seriously, this is just good business. Increase your audience. Don’t get sued. Don’t alienate your users. Make your site accessible NOW.