Does Your Law Firm Website Meet ADA Compliance Standards?
When people are in a pinch and looking to hire legal services or check attorney references, they typically chose to do so online. And with the introduction of smartphones, most people can bring up a law firm’s website from almost anywhere they go. Clients can access your company’s website in the car, on a plane, and even on their wrist from a smartwatch. While all of this accessibility is great for most of your potential clients, without a website that meets ADA compliance standards, you could be alienating a large group of people who choose to search for legal help online. So, what is ADA compliance and why is it important for your law firm’s website? Keep reading to learn more about the importance of maintaining your ADA compliance status and the benefits of working with a reputable IT service company to handle the hard work for you.
Is Your Website ADA Compliant?
Did you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted almost 30 years ago? This important civil rights law was designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination against them in terms of employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.
When the ADA act was signed into law in 1990, it paved the way for people with disabilities in a very physical sense by requiring businesses to offer designated accessible parking spaces, raised markings on informational signage, accessibility ramps and more. But up until recently, these accessibility guidelines did not extend to the online space. In January 2018, new ADA regulations were put into effect to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access business websites with ease. Some of the key elements you can take to ensure your website is accessible to people disabilities include:
- Reviewing the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG. Here you’ll find useful recommendations on how to make your website more accessible for everyone.
- Use the Google WAVE Tool to conduct an audit of your website as it is now. Unsure of how to complete an audit on your own? Simply enlist your IT services company to help!
- Take the time to ensure that any images on your website include descriptive alt tags. These helpful tabs are utilized by screen readers and players, as well as voiceovers to describe different elements on your website.
- Review the varying styles and elements that make your website unique, such as the links, headings, and buttons. Remember that your website should be accessible to all visitors. So, if your font style is too small or you’ve used a combination of a light background and light text—it may be hard for everyone to find the information they need.
- Ask your IT services technician to audit your website’s code and CSS. This is the best way to clean up any outdated code and make sure that you’re following best practices.
What Happens if Your Website Fails to Meet ADA Standards?
Research shows that as many as 70 percent of potential customers will leave a business website if it isn’t accessible. Aside from possible legal ramifications, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your website is accessible to every potential client browsing the internet. If you create a website that can be easily understood and accessed by everyone, you’ll be opening your firm to an audience of some 60 million disabled Americans.
One great way to look at meeting ADA compliance standards is to think of them as another form of search engine optimization. If you’re already taking the time to make sure your website ranks well on Google and other popular search engines, it should also be optimized to meet the needs of every potential new client.
How Can I Ensure My Website Looks Great and is Accessible for All?
Even the most tech-savvy business owners know that when it comes to coding, it’s best to leave the hard work to the professionals. While you may be able to keep up with some of the minor changes that your website will need to be ADA compliant, striking the perfect balance between a professional looking website and a fully-functioning one can be quite difficult. Along with these intricacies, working with a reputable IT services company can help to protect your client’s sensitive information from phishing scams and cyber attacks.
Putting your trust in the hands of a capable IT team also means that you can spend your time focusing on what really matters, helping your clients and guiding them through the legal process. A knowledgeable IT technician can also keep your website and software applications up to date with the newest additions and any changes to important regulations. With the help of an experienced IT services company, you never have to worry about your website being ADA compliant and you can rest easy knowing that your website will function properly.
Learn More About LI Tech Advisers
LI Tech Advisors provides a wide range of technical service for businesses across the greater Long Island, New York area. Some of the services we offer include IT support, network configuration, disaster recovery, wireless networking, and more. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we’re proud to be one of the top IT services companies in the greater Long Island, NY region.