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Website accessibility for special districts: What is the risk, really?

Posted by Annelise Spargo | June 23, 2022

By the end of 2023, more than 10% of districts are estimated to be affected by a website ADA claim. This rapid increase is startling, and we want to help you stay informed and prepared for any risks facing special districts.  

 

Just as buildings must have wheelchair ramps, public websites must have special provisions for users with disabilities. It's not only legally required, but good business for the 15% of the population with a disability. 

 

In 2021, the number of lawsuits rose 56%, and the penalties for non-compliance are rising fast—averaging $4,000 for an ADA claim in 2019 to $39,000 in 2022. It’s a situation that The Wall Street Journal deemed “very perilous” in a recent article

 

The most appalling development is that the majority of new actions are targeting organizations smaller than 30 million in revenue, as they are often not aware of or prepared to meet web accessibility standards. And very few, if any, special district policies even partially cover the costs of web accessibility issues. We want to help your district get ahead of website accessibility.

 

What Accessibility Laws Apply to Districts?

 

 

The laws surrounding accessibility are both disjointed and nuanced. There are a few layers of federal regulations further highlighted by state regulations. While more and more state laws are emerging with their own timelines and penalties, most districts do not realize that they are already liable for violations of federal laws, which comprise the majority of current legal actions.

 

How can we be Accessible?

The best place to begin is to scan your website for accessibility, we recommend starting with a scan of your homepage. The scan will include a report with information on which items need remediation. Run a free scan > 

 

Once the scan is complete, it's important to begin remediation immediately. So, what do you do if you know you have accessibility issues with your website? Learn more > 

 

Streamline has equipped over 700 districts with fully accessible, easy-to-use, and affordable websites. If you would like more information about an accessible Streamline website, send us a message > 

Topics: California compliance, Website accessibility, Website best practices, Website requirements

Read: Special DIstrict Website Makeover
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