When conducting business, there are several laws that each business should comply with. One such law that is often overlooked is the Americans with Disabilities Act. While most organizations ensured that they comply with the physical provisions provided in the act, many overlooked the digital aspect to which many, if not all, businesses have migrated towards. This has exposed them to the repercussions that follow suit to non-compliant individuals or companies. Therefore, websites must comply with Title III of the ADA.

What Is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The American government enacted the Americans with Disabilities act in 1990 to protect the rights of people with disabilities and shield them from discrimination. This ensures that places of public accommodation, including businesses, are accessible to people regardless of ability. This involves the accessibility of both the physical premises of the business and the technology provided. 

Why ADA Compliance Is Critical for Baltimore Businesses

Protects against Litigation

You may get sued if your website is not accessible. Title III of the ADA prohibits owners or operators of places of public accommodation from discriminating against an individual based on their disability. In the recent past, there have been many lawsuits based on violations of Title III of the ADA. Based on published reports, in 2021, over 11,400 people filed suit claiming a violation of Title III. This represents a 4% increase from 2020 and a 320% increase since 2013.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) specifies the accessibility requirements for ADA compliance. They keep an eye on all companies that provide goods and services in the U.S. to ensure they adhere to the rules for accessible design. Therefore, if someone with a disability feels that an organization does not provide them with appropriate access to facilities or services, be it physically or digitally, they may file a complaint with the DOJ. The penalty for violating the ADA can sum up to $150,000.

It Helps You Acquire and Retain Customers while Benefiting from Free Advertising

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one in five Americans may have a disability. Additionally, clients with disabilities and their families make up a $3 trillion market segment, according to the disability rights organization. It would be illogical to exclude such a sizable and important segment from any possible clientele. Also, due to disabled people’s inclination to stick together, the handicapped community is often close-knit. If someone with a disability enjoys using a website, that individual will likely persuade others to sign up and become a customer.

Tax Reliefs and Financial Gains

In addition to establishing guidelines, the ADA also has tools to assist in achieving its objectives. The more you work toward ADA compliance, the more financial aid you can get, and the less likely you will violate the law. To assist you in meeting the expense of your efforts to satisfy accessibility standards, the Internal Revenue Service has created a Disabled Access Credit.

Socially Responsible Companies Build a Positive Reputation within the Community

According to research, many customers were willing to forego their personal preferences to support socially responsible companies. This showcased the level of trust a business built with its consumer base, even non-disabled, by adhering to ADA standards and demonstrating goodwill. Being welcoming to people of all abilities also helped persons with disabilities share and better the lives of everyone, both customers and employees.

Get the most for Your business with the Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce opens its doors to entrepreneurs and business owners from all demographics in Pikesville, Owing Mills, and Northwest Baltimore. As a member of our chamber, you’ll learn how best to be ADA-compliant in Baltimore. With over 300 members, our objective is to encourage company success in the Greater Baltimore area. Get in touch via our website or call us at 410-484-2337.