By: Mike Lehr, HR Consultant
Clients of Young & Associates, Inc. have been receiving demand letters from plaintiffs’ law firms, alleging that their websites aren’t accessible to individuals with disabilities. In effect, these letters claim that they are violating
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More press and training have surfaced on this issue too.
If your bank has received such a letter, don’t ignore it. Attorneys we know have had to defend their clients in court over these letters. If your bank has not received one, it’s best to begin working with your legal counsel and reviewing
your website before you do. Proactivity can help here. In our audits to date, the main problem has been clients relying too heavily on assurances from their website vendors and on results from compliance software. Auditing software is a tool, not a judge. As a result, individuals with disabilities might be able to access the website, but they have unreasonable difficulty doing so. The website still isn’t in the clear.
That’s why Young & Associates audits employ four tests:
- Compliance software tests
- Manual audit of home pages, main navigation pages, and high problematic pages
- Screen reader test by Young & Associates consultant
- Screen reader test by a sight-impaired person observed by Young & Associates consultant
Young & Associates audits use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and the Section 508 Standards for federal agencies as their baselines. To meet our clients’ many different needs, we have three different audits to select from:
- ADA Developmental Website Audit: The purpose of this audit is to assist the bank in the development of a new website or to provide a cost-effective first look at a current website that has never been audited or tested in any manner. It employs the compliance software test, the manual audit, and a modified screen reading test.
- ADA Compliance Website Audit: The purpose of this audit is to perform a formal compliance audit of the website. It employs the full complement of tests.
- ADA Follow-Up Website Audit: The purpose of this audit is to review the changes made to the website in response to the findings of other audits. It usually employs just the compliance software test or a modified application of the full complement of tests.
For more information on ADA Website Accessibility Compliance or how Young & Associates, Inc. can assist your bank in this area, download our “Better Understanding ADA Website Compliance & Young Associates Audit,” or contact Mike Lehr, Human Resources Consultant at 1.330.777.0094 or [email protected].