The time has come that businesses need to take a serious look at their websites and accessibility. A Florida federal judge has ruled Winn-Dixie’s website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The factual findings demonstrate that Winn-Dixie’s website is inaccessible to visually impaired individuals who must use screen reader software,” Scola wrote.
“Therefore, Winn-Dixie has violated the ADA because the inaccessibility of its website has denied Gil the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations that Winn-Dixie offers to its sighted customers.”
Sheridan Walker, CEO of HirePotential, Inc. believes that this will be a game changer on website accessibility.
Under Section 503 the only requirement is to provide an accessibility statement giving applicants information on how to obtain assistance in the employment process. Is this enough? What if the disability does not allow them to read the online statement, how can they be given equal opportunities for employment?
It’s really much more important than simply complying with Section 503; it is about access to the services and products that your organization produces. The large and growing market of people with disabilities has $175 billion in discretionary spending, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. $175 billion is more than four times the spending power of tweens (8-14 year-olds), a demographic sought after by businesses.
There are several things you can do, on your own, to see if your site is accessible or you can contract someone to help you make that determination. Stay tuned as we provide you with accessibility tips in future blogs.
By Rosemary Cox, Senior Consultant at DCI Consulting Group