Is your Civic Website ADA Friendly?

ADA

We’ve been wrapping up of behind-the-scenes updates to SnapSite.us in an effort to make the site more accessible to people with disabilities — and to ensure that the transparency profiles we host for local governments across the country meet the standards outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Making information reachable and easy to understand is essential to SnapSite’s mission. Our websites are expressly designed to communicate local government data in a way that makes sense to everyone. So, when we learned that there were ways to code our site to improve accessibility to disabled populations we immediately went for it and want to be  a leader in ADA website compliance.

Our goal is to help businesses and local governments implement robust accessibility practices. They also share SnapSite’s commitment to creating better digital experiences for everyone, including people with disabilities.

There are currently more than 54 million Americans with visual or hearing impairments, many of whom rely on assistive technology to access the Internet.  Furthermore, there are 77 million baby boomers in the U.S. — 10,000 of whom turn 65 each day. As this massive population ages, the demand for ADA-friendly online content will only rise. In fact, according to projections based on the most recent census data, the number of people with visual impairment or blindness in the U.S. is expected to double by 2050. Snap Site

In the same way that we make structures accessible to people in wheelchairs, it’s incumbent upon organizations in both the public and private sector to make websites accessible to users who rely on devices like screen readers and voice recognition software. It’s the right thing to do — and the sooner we all do it the better. That said, accessibility also happens to be the law.

The ADA stipulates that public entities at all levels must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities.

State and local governments report an uptick in lawsuits

The number of website accessibility lawsuits filed under Title III of the ADA nearly tripled in 2018 — and litigation is on the rise. The Orlando Sentinel reports, “a flurry of lawsuits have been filed in federal courts contending that many of the public documents on government websites and businesses are not completely accessible to people who have problems seeing or hearing.”

With more than 2,000 suits filed in 2018 alone, municipal leaders and district administrators are increasingly under pressure to make their online content and services compliant with

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