West Hills Web

ADA Website Compliance FAQ

If you are like most people, you are not very familiar with ADA Compliance for websites. This FAQ is about answering your questions. If you don’t see your question here, then use our contact form to ask your question and we’ll reply with an answer, and post it here on our next update.

What does it cost to do an ADA Website Assessment?

The short answer is that it varies. While every page needs to be ADA compliant, many pages are made with the same software template, so it’s generally only those individual templates that need to be Assessed. Before we tell you the cost of your Assessment, we will determine and count the different kinds of pages on your site, determine if they are made with the same templates, then calculate a cost. To get started with your assessment, fill out our ADA Website Assessment Request form here.

What does it cost to make my website ADA compliant?

Just as the cost of the ADA Website Assessment varies, so does the cost of compliance itself. As you can imagine, a website with just a few templates and 10 pages will take less work to make compliant than a site that has 100’s of pages, video, music, a shopping cart, and other features. As a result, compliance costs for one website can be 10 or 100 times more than the costs for another website.

As with other types of compliance, including HIPAA compliance for Doctors, FINRA compliance for financial professionals, and PCI compliance for companies that accept and store credit cards, compliance costs are a large part of these companies’ operations budget. Along with GDPR and CCPA compliance, ADA Compliance is greatly increasing the costs of building and owning a website.

Was my website, made just X years ago by West Hills Web, ADA Compliant?

Unless we specifically described ADA Compliance when configuring and pricing your project, the answer is likely no. Adding ADA Compliance to a website adds substantial cost to a site, and up until now, there was nothing close to a definitive decision on whether it was necessary. With the recent (October 2019) Supreme Court decision, the need for website accessibility is more clear.

What If My Website Can’t Be Made Compliant?

Almost all newer websites can be made to be ADA Compliant. Older websites built on older tools, or built from scratch with HTML, cannot be made ADA Compliant and will need to be rebuilt. Be sure to specify that you want your site to be ADA Compliant when discussing a new site with your web developer.

Before we take on your Accessibility Assessment, we will do a complimentary preliminary assessment to determine if we can help you. We won’t accept your request if we can’t help you.

What is the WCAG?

WCAG stands for Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is a document and set of standards that describes how websites can be made Accessible to those with disabilities including visual, auditory, cognitive, mobility and others. The WCAG is drafted by the W3C, the organization that develops all website standards. You can see the latest WCAG 2.1 spec by clicking here. You can see the WCAG checklist by clicking here. And while the WCAG is a reference for website accessibility, the ADA does not cite or refer to the WCAG in any way. In other words, there are no “official” standards for website accessibility.

Am I protected against lawsuits if I make my site ADA compliant?

ADA Compliance is a matter of degrees, not a matter of Yes or No. It’s further complicated by the fact that the WCAG — the most comprehensive set of standards for website accessibility — is not even part of the ADA law. So the idea of your website being “compliant” is an imprecise term.

After you receive your assessment, you will have a choice as to how compliant you wish to make your site. If you have videos on your site, you’ll be given a choice to have us caption the video for you, which you may accept or decline. Some recommendations will require the colors or layout of your website to change, and you may not be willing to do that. Other compliance issues may be cost prohibitive. Even if you accept every recommendation we make, it is likely that your website will not be 100% ADA compliant given the comprehensiveness of the WCAG guidelines, that technology changes constantly and that WCAG Guidelines change from time to time.

Here in the United States, anyone can sue anyone for any reason. There is no way to protect yourself from being sued or from someone threatening to sue you.

As a result, while we can provide your Website Accessibility Certificate that shows to what degree your website is compliant, but WE CANNOT GUARANTEE 100% WCAG COMPLIANCE, OR THAT YOU WON’T BE THE TARGET OF A LAWSUIT, OR THAT YOU WON’T BE THE TARGET OF MALICIOUS THREATS, OR ANY OTHER POTENTIAL OR REAL DAMAGES OR CONSEQUENCES RESULTING FROM THE WORK WE DO OR DO NOT DO FOR YOU, YOUR COMPANY OR YOUR WEBSITE.

NOTHING ON THIS PAGE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR OWN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL OPINIONS.

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