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June 15, 2020

Agencies Scramble as Clients Fall to Web Accessibility Lawsuits

Yan Yanko VP Marketing
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(Estimated read time: 3 minutes)

Anxious clients are pressing their agencies for solutions, as web accessibility lawsuits make national headlines. High profile cases against Domino’s, Winn-Dixie and even Beyoncé Knowles are prompting everyone from global brands to small local businesses to ask, “what about me?”

Unfortunately, the response is rarely satisfying. Traditional techniques for building accessibility requirements into a website can be extremely time- and labor-intensive, potentially translating to thousands of dollars and weeks of coding. Retrofitting an existing site can be just as costly. Plus, maintaining compliance means manual updates every time new content is added to the site.

Without a cost-effective solution from their agencies, many website owners reluctantly sweep accessibility concerns under the rug, hoping the risk of a lawsuit is less than the cost of protecting their site and business.

A 400% increase in ADA Title III federal lawsuits from 2013-2019, however, suggests that’s a dangerous gamble.

Why Web Accessibility Must be a Priority for Every Business

“Times are changing and online businesses have a greater responsibility than ever to prioritize their website accessibility,” Forbes.com recently wrote. “When companies essentially deny equal access because their website is incompatible with a screen reader – or has other accessibility issues, the companies also become vulnerable to lawsuits,”.

That responsibility carries over to digital agencies and web development shops, whose expertise is crucial for helping businesses make informed decisions regarding their digital presence.

Where Can Agencies Turn for a Viable Web Accessibility Solution?

Prior to now, agencies have been caught between a rock and hard place. They desperately want to assist their clients, but lack the tools and budget to provide a viable solution. While a handful of plug-ins exist to allow users to customize the frontend display of a website, the heavier lift of making sites accessible for screen readers and keyboard navigation has always been completely manual.

Until now.

A new technology is revolutionizing the way agencies can integrate complete accessibility into their clients’ websites.

accessiBe makes any website fully accessible with just a single line of JavaScript, through the power of artificial intelligence. And, yes, that includes compatibility with screen readers and keyboard navigation.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of accessiBe is the price. Websites up to 1,000 pages can be made completely accessible for just $490 per year, with larger websites ranging from $990 to $3,500 per year. Agencies are eligible for a 20% discount plus free accessiBe integration for their own website.

Peter Polgar, Founder and CEO of full-service digital agency Glenmont Consulting, says of accessiBe, “The technology and their unique approach to addressing compliance issues were very impressive. We were sold. It was clear accessiBe was the right way to go and we joined their partner program on the spot. accessiBe’s platform is now part of what we offer to all of our customers.”

There’s More at Stake than Just Lawsuits

And web accessibility is about more than just avoiding the threat of lawsuits. In this day and age, no one should be precluded from benefiting from the availability of goods and services. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates nearly 1-in-5 Americans has a disability. That’s more than 60 million people. The potential positive financial impact of making a company’s website more accessible to this huge swath of the population is game-changing for any business.

The future of web accessibility is here today. To learn more about how your agency can offer accessiBe’s all-in-one web accessibility solution to clients, visit our agency partners page today.

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