He might not be able to ogle any Playboy Bunnies, but according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Donald Nixon should be able to access Playboy’s websites just like everyone else.
In yet another example of why businesses need to ensure their websites are accessible, Nixon, who’s legally blind, has sued Playboy, alleging its websites, Playboy.com and Playboyshop.com, are not accessible to the visually-impaired.
Nixon filed the lawsuit on November 28, 2018, claiming Playboy is violating the ADA, as its websites are allegedly incompatible with his screen-reader software.
The ADA is similar to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), as both bills were enacted to make things more accessible for people with disabilities.
So, for business owners in Ontario, this lawsuit should act as a reminder of what can happen if your website isn’t accessible.
You can be fined, sued, or lose out on potential customers who can’t access your site, and you’re not doing your reputation any favours either.
Check out our blog on AODA compliance for more information.
If you want your website to be more accessible and meet all the requirements outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, check out The Best Media’s AODA compliance service.
If you want your website to be AODA compliant, you have to follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), which outline three levels of compliance – Level A, Level AA and Level AAA.
Watch the following video for an introduction to web accessibility.
As of January 2014, all new websites, web content, or websites that are significantly redesigned, published by non-profit organizations and large businesses are expected to abide by Level A compliance guidelines.
And as of January 2021, all websites and web content must abide by the Level A and Level AA guidelines.
Website owners who refuse to comply face severe financial penalties, including fines of up to $100,000 per day.
But understanding and implementing these guidelines is not easy.
Luckily, Luke McGrath from Wuhcag has spent many hours creating a handy little WCAG 2.0 checklist, breaking down these guidelines into the simplest terms possible.
I’m going to provide a summary of the Level A guidelines below, but please refer to the Wuhcag checklist for a detailed explanation of each guideline.
The Level A guidelines deal with what are considered the most basic features of web accessibility standards, which include:
If you want to protect your business from getting fined or sued, you need to make sure your website adheres to the guidelines I’ve summarized above.
But keep in mind that as of January 2021, you’ll also be required to adhere to the Level AA guidelines. Check out the Wuhcag checklist and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to learn more about Level AA.
In any case, avoiding massive fines and lawsuits, not to mention reaping the benefits of having a more accessible website, are certainly worth the cost of making some updates.
Read our blog on the benefits of web accessibility standards to learn how making your website more accessible can benefit your business.
Don’t feel confident that you can implement all these changes on your own? Contact The Best Media and have peace of mind knowing our AODA compliance experts are ensuring your website abides by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.