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If you’re a website owner, web accessibility is essential regardless of where you do business; it makes the digital landscape more accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
To ensure business owners prioritize Arizona ADA compliance, policies and regulations were formulated with corresponding consequences for non-compliance.
Different states have released their own laws, rules, and regulations related to ADA compliance to help businesses and website developers become more aware of its importance in the online space.
Arizona, most popular for its Grand Canyon, also has policies and regulations regarding ADA compliance.
In this blog, we look at how these regulations have influenced web accessibility in Arizona and discuss helpful tips and solutions to help you achieve an ADA-compliant website.
Arizona released guidelines regarding website ADA compliance to ensure equal opportunities and access to the digital world, regardless of whether you have a disability or not.
Any website in Arizona that is not user-friendly and accessible to disabled people could face ADA lawsuits, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Past ADA compliance lawsuits in Arizona were mainly focused on websites that were creating physical barriers for those living with disabilities. However, after almost a two-year hiatus, a new set of lawsuits were focused on both mobile applications and websites that were inaccessible to people with disabilities.
These allegations were linked to violations of Title III of the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as well as the Disabilities Act regulated by Arizonans. Claims against websites not following ADA compliance regulations continue to increase in Arizona, especially against sites that are not accessible to those with special disabilities.
Even other states in the US have experienced more ADA lawsuits filed against websites failing to comply with ADA regulations.
Florida, for instance, accounts for 25% of website ADA lawsuits in the US. This state has been a hotbed for ADA lawsuits, with several small business owners having to pay thousands of dollars to their attorneys and make changes to their websites as part of their settlement.
However, a downward trend in ADA lawsuits in Florida has been observed after a decrease in the number of websites required to obtain ADA compliance.
Another US state, New York, has shown an upward trend in ADA lawsuits filed against several websites. There was a 12% increase from 2019 and New York now has the most number of ADA lawsuits against websites.
California has also shown an upward trend in ADA lawsuits from 2019 to 2020. While it’s one of the more advanced states in terms of ensuring everyone has equal access to the digital world, several websites have undergone lawsuits, alleged claims, and were told to settle.
In Arizona, website ADA compliance is mainly governed by the Government Information Technology Agency.
These laws are linked to an accessibility model that all Arizonan websites need to follow to minimize technical and online barriers for disabled individuals.
The policy scope includes departments, boards, commissions, institutions, and other state organization agencies.
According to the accessibility model released, all websites must follow and include the following features across their web pages:
The following are limitations of this state law:
Not all businesses are covered by state law and are required to achieve ADA compliance. According to the Ninth Circuit, which covers Arizona, a website must comply with ADA standards when it has a connection to a physical place for direct accommodation.
For instance, Netflix is not required to attain ADA compliance because it does not have a physical store. On the other hand, Target must attain ADA compliance because it’s linked to a physical shop.
Among the ADA compliance lawsuits filed in Arizona, the most famous case involves James Close, who sued four Arizona businesses for website inaccessibility.
James Close claimed that the four violating websites were not accessible to blind consumers, violating Title III of the ADA act of 1990 and the AzDA (Arizonans with Disabilities Act).
All four lawsuits were filed by Close’s attorney, Joseph Charles, in the United States District Court for Arizona. James Close was a legally blind resident of Texas.
According to Close, the alleged websites were not compatible with different technologies, including screen reading software, which is helpful for the visually impaired.
With this, James Close was not given a chance to figure out what was on the website, where its locations are or make purchases.
James Close ordered the business websites to comply with the WCAG 2.0 Level AA Design Standards. He also ordered the court to temporarily shut down the websites until they fully complied with the Arizona ADA requirements.
To avoid complaints and lawsuits related to ADA compliance and website accessibility in Arizona, there are helpful tips you can follow.
It’s important to strictly follow the accessibility model issued by the Arizona Government. This accessibility model features a guide on what your website must include to achieve ADA compliance.
• Use clear language across all parts of your website where text is written.
• Add understandable captions to all audio and videos.
• Your content should be easy to navigate and understand.
• Include descriptive and easy-to-understand alternative text.
• Check and ensure all color contrasts are appropriate.
Achieving website accessibility is not an easy task, no matter where you are in the world. Fortunately, there are several famous third-party website accessibility solutions available to assist you.
These website accessibility solutions providers help make your website reachable to the general public, including people with disabilities.
They offer several features at affordable price points to ensure that your website gets the compliance it needs. Some pricing plans also offer trial periods, which are helpful for determining which features are right for your site.
You can also read through several reviews and comparisons online to decide on the best third-party website accessibility solutions provider.
accessiBe’s solution will ensure your website is compliant with the following legislation:
If your site contains videos and/or PDFs, you may encounter additional costs in order to ensure they meet accessibility requirements.
Ensuring that your websites are ADA compliant in Arizona is a serious matter. Each state in the US has formulated its own regulations and policies on ADA compliance to ensure all websites attain website accessibility.
Do not wait for an allegation or a lawsuit to be filed against your website before you take action. Promote inclusivity and make your websites accessible and reachable to everyone, especially people with disabilities.
When your Arizona website is ADA compliant, it saves you the hassle of undergoing settlement and court appeals which may negatively impact your brand.
You also have to remember that when your website is non-ADA compliant, you’re cutting out a massive audience and a large number of potential customers.
If you have an Arizonian website or a website that serves the residents of Arizona, follow the accessible model formulated by the Government Information Technology Agency to make your site accessible to all.
You can start your ADA compliance journey by auditing your website. Conduct a free audit on Accessibility Checker.
Did you find this article helpful? Read and learn more about ADA compliance in different states in the US and other countries by clicking one of the insightful articles below.
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