If you are in the business of boat lifts and docks, you understand the importance of providing exceptional products and services to your customers. However, have you considered the accessibility and ADA compliance of your website?

Now more than ever, it’s not only the right thing to do but also, it’s the law. Make sure your website can be accessed by everyone, including those with disabilities.

This blog post will delve into the significance of website accessibility and ADA compliance for boat lift and dock companies highlighting the benefits and necessity of prioritizing accessibility.

Understanding Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance for Boat Lift and Dock Companies

What is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing websites in a way that ensures equal access and usability for individuals with disabilities. This includes people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, motor disabilities, cognitive impairments, and more.

An accessible website employs design principles and features that accommodate these individuals, allowing them to perceive, navigate, and interact with the content effectively.

Role of ADA Compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination and ensure equal opportunities. While initially focused on physical accessibility, the ADA has evolved to include digital accessibility.

In 2022, there were 8,694 ADA Title III cases filed in federal court, the highest number ever. 37% of the claims involved accessibility issues with websites. Moreover, the average settlement cost for ADA-related website accessibility lawsuits ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.

Title III of the ADA applies to places of public accommodation, which now extends to websites as they have become an integral part of business operations. ADA compliance for websites is crucial to avoid legal consequences and foster an inclusive online environment for all users.

Benefits of Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance for Boat Lift and Dock Companies

Expanding Reach and Engagement

By making your website accessible to individuals with disabilities, you open up your business to a larger audience. According to data, in the United States, up to one-quarter of adults (27%) live with a disability., making them potential customers who could benefit from your products and services. By ensuring ADA compliance, you enhance user experience, boost engagement, and encourage these individuals to explore your offerings.

Enhancing Reputation and Customer Trust

Prioritizing website accessibility and ADA compliance demonstrates your company’s commitment to inclusivity and equality. It establishes your reputation as a socially responsible business that values all potential customers.

Such dedication to accessibility creates a positive brand image and fosters customer trust and loyalty. Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers can further expand your reach and increase your market share.

Avoiding Legal Consequences

Non-compliance with ADA regulations can result in costly lawsuits, reputation damage, and financial penalties. Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in ADA-related lawsuits targeting businesses with inaccessible websites.

By ensuring your website meets ADA compliance standards, you minimize the risk of legal action and protect your company’s financial stability and reputation.

Most of these lawsuits are settled outside of court, indicating that businesses prefer to avoid legal proceedings by resolving accessibility issues promptly.

The demand for accessible websites is growing, as more individuals with disabilities rely on the internet to access information, products, and services.

Implementing Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance for Boat Lift and Dock Companies

Conducting an Accessibility Audit

Start by conducting an accessibility audit of your website. This process involves evaluating your website’s design, content, and functionality to identify potential barriers for individuals with disabilities. Numerous online tools and professional accessibility consultants can assist you in this endeavor.

Designing for Accessibility

Ensure your website follows best practices for accessible design, such as providing alternative text for images, using proper color contrast, and ensuring keyboard accessibility. Pay attention to the structure and organization of your content to facilitate screen reader navigation. Implementing these design principles will greatly enhance the accessibility of your website.

Incorporate ADA Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 or the latest version available. Implement these guidelines when designing or updating your website, ensuring adherence to accessibility standards.

Provide Alternative Text

Include descriptive alt text for images, enabling users with visual impairments to understand their context. This practice also benefits search engine optimization (SEO), as alt text improves the discoverability of website content.

Make Videos Accessible

Provide closed captions or transcripts for videos, making the content accessible to users with hearing impairments. This addition also benefits users in environments where audio may be difficult to hear.

Ensure Keyboard Accessibility

Test your website’s functionality using only a keyboard. Users with mobility impairments may rely on keyboard navigation instead of a mouse. Ensure that all interactive elements are accessible and operable via keyboard input.

Testing and User Feedback

Regularly test your website for accessibility using assistive technologies like screen readers and keyboard-only navigation. Additionally, encourage users to provide feedback on their experience accessing your website. This user-centered approach allows you to identify and address any accessibility issues that may arise.

To Sum It Up

Prioritizing website accessibility and ADA compliance is not only a legal obligation but also a tremendous opportunity for boat lift and dock companies.

By ensuring that your website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, you expand your customer base, enhance your reputation, and avoid legal consequences.

Actively engaging in accessibility efforts, along with prioritizing website design and development, sets your company apart as a leader in inclusivity and positions you for long-term success in the digital marketplace.

To make your website accessible and achieve ADA compliance, partner with Boat Marketing Pros—the industry-leading experts in digital marketing solutions for boat lift and dock companies.

Contact us today to enhance your online presence and attract more customers through inclusive and accessible web design.