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The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 26, 2022 • Issue 22:09:02

Readers Speak: Websites and ADA compliance

When the pandemic hit, I joined many of my peers in recommending to brick-and-mortar merchants, both current customers and prospects, that they have websites to give them another way to do business. Most already had basic websites, some already had an ecommerce arm operating, others even had buy online, pick up in store capability, and we're talking very small enterprises here. We discussed ways to make online payments convenient and secure for the merchants and their shoppers, but we never talked about ADA compliance.

That's the Americans with Disabilities Act, which seems to rely on lawsuits for enforcement. The other day, I happened to hear part of a discussion in which ADA website compliance was discussed. Before that, I hadn't given thought to websites needing to be ADA compliant. What does that entail, and how can I help merchants be in compliance?

Wayne Provo, Merchant Level Salesperson


Thanks for your question. It is our understanding that if a website is used to sell goods or services, it is required to be ADA compliant. Whether a particular website is likely to be targeted by lawyers accusing the business of being non-compliant is another matter, and the law is not clearly defined. It is good business, however, to make your site easy to use for as many people as possible. The federal government provides the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for state and local governments that businesses can also use at https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm. It answers why websites should be accessible, online barriers people with disabilities face, common problems and solutions for website accessibility, and how to develop a remedial action plan. The ADA Compliance Website, https://ada-compliance-website.net is a non-government resource you might find useful as well.


Is your website ADA compliant?

Have you taken steps to make your website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act? If so, did it require a comprehensive overhaul, or did it just need a few minor tweaks. How about your merchants? Do you help them with ADA compliance? Have any of them been confronted with lawsuits stemming from the ADA? Share your experiences with us at greensheet@greensheet.com. end of article

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