Accessible Websites and ADA Compliance in St. Louis, MO
Welcome to The Kestrel Co., where we champion the cause of digital inclusivity in St. Louis. Our passion for digital inclusivity goes beyond mere compliance with legal guidelines like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and WCAG standards. We are dedicated to creating websites and apps that are genuinely accessible and empowering for all users, regardless of ability or disability. For us, accessibility represents more than an obligation; it embodies a deeply-held commitment to inclusivity and equality on the internet.
As a St. Louis digital agency specializing in website accessibility and ADA compliance, we provide comprehensive accessibility services to make your online presence digitally welcoming and accessible for all users. We utilize innovative tools and proven strategies tailored for the St. Louis area to ensure your website meets the latest accessibility standards.
Everything that follows details our unique approach to accessibility and how we can partner with you to make your St. Louis website compliant and accessible for every visitor.
Ready to elevate your website’s accessibility?
Navigating the World of Digital Accessibility: Why It Matters
Web accessibility ensures that websites are usable by everyone, including individuals with disabilities. It’s about creating digital content that’s navigable, understandable, and interactable for all users, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities. Why is this important? Because accessibility is a gateway to inclusivity, allowing everyone equal access to information and functionality.
The Business Case for Accessibility: Benefits Beyond Compliance
Embracing web accessibility extends beyond meeting legal standards. It enhances your brand, broadens your audience, and sets your business apart in the marketplace.
Broadening Your Audience
Open doors to a diverse user base.
By making your website accessible, you open your digital doors to 15% of the global population with disabilities, significantly expanding your audience.
Enhancing Brand Image
Build trust through inclusive design.
Showcasing your commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and accessible design enhances your brand’s reputation, building trust and loyalty.
Leveraging Positive PR
Showcase social responsibility.
Utilizing your commitment to accessibility in your PR strategy bolsters your brand’s image as a socially responsible leader.
Gain a Competitive Edge
Differentiate your brand, expand your reach.
Delivering an accessible customer experience helps you retain new and repeat customers. Research shows over 90% of customers are more likely to make additional purchases from companies that prioritize accessibility.
ADA Tax Credits: Enhancing Accessibility with Financial Incentives
In addition to our comprehensive accessibility services, it’s crucial for small businesses to explore financial incentives related to ADA compliance. Eligible businesses—those with gross receipts of $1 million or less or with 30 or fewer employees—can benefit from the ADA tax credit by using IRS Form 8826 as outlined in Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, Section 44. This credit offers 50% back on expenditures between $250 and $10,250, with a maximum of $5,000, significantly reducing costs for accessibility improvements. Such a credit not only lowers the tax owed but also aligns financial benefits with a commitment to digital inclusivity. By leveraging the Disabled Access Tax Credit, our services become even more accessible and financially viable for businesses. This tax incentive considerably lowers the financial barriers to enhancing website accessibility, making our expert services not just a strategic investment in inclusivity but also an economically smart choice for businesses aiming for digital excellence.
Addressing Vulnerabilities: Understanding the Legal Risks
As the internet becomes increasingly integral to our lives, the legal landscape around web accessibility has gained prominence. For forward-thinking businesses, staying informed and proactive is key.
The Rising Tide of Accessibility Lawsuits
A Growing Concern in the Digital Age
Recent data reveals a significant increase in web accessibility-related lawsuits, with a 23% rise in the last year alone. This surge indicates heightened legal scrutiny and the growing importance of ADA compliance. Notably, these lawsuits are not confined to large corporations; small and medium-sized businesses are also facing legal action. In fact, 2023 saw 3,086 web accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts and 1,519 filed in state courts for a total of 4,605, almost double the 2,314 filed in 2018. The cost of these lawsuits can be substantial, often reaching $20,000 to $150,000 in settlements, in addition to legal fees and the costs involved in retrofitting websites to meet compliance standards.
Proactive Compliance: A Strategic Approach
Mitigating Risks with Diligence
Proactively addressing web accessibility is not just about avoiding costly litigation; it also reflects a commitment to inclusivity and the rights of all customers to access digital content. Implementing accessibility measures can be far more cost-effective than the potential expenses incurred from legal actions. By embracing this philosophy and integrating accessibility into your digital strategy, you mitigate the risks of legal repercussions and align your brand with ethical and inclusive practices.
Failure to conform with accessibility guidelines poses serious legal and financial risks. The Department of Justice can impose fines up to $192,768 for ADA violations.
However, legal consequences are not the only risks. Brand reputation, lost opportunities to expand your customer base, diversion of resources to patchwork solutions, and exclusion of talented candidates with disabilities are all hidden dangers of an inaccessible website.
Our Services: Tailored Accessibility Solutions
The Kestrel Co. offers a suite of comprehensive services tailored to ensure your website’s accessibility and compliance. Our solutions utilize best-in-class innovative tools and approaches to ensure top-tier service and expertise.
Comprehensive monitoring and reporting.
We offer a dynamic platform that continuously monitors your website, identifying and reporting accessibility issues. This proactive approach ensures your site remains compliant and user-friendly.
Manual Auditing by Exports
In-depth analysis for ultimate compliance.
We perform manual audits, meticulously examining your site’s content, navigation, and interactive features. These audits are crucial for uncovering issues that automated tools might miss, ensuring a thoroughly accessible user experience.
Ongoing Automated Monitoring
Real-time accessibility checks.
Utilizing a suite of automated tools, we provide ongoing monitoring of your website. This ensures that new content or updates are immediately evaluated for accessibility best practices, helping you maintain consistent compliance.
Training and Support
Empowering you with expert knowledge.
We offer comprehensive training and support, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to manage accessibility effectively. This includes understanding legal requirements, best practices for creating and publishing content, and more.
Corrective measures for compliance.
Our remediation services range from one-time fixes to address immediate concerns to ongoing solutions for maintaining an accessible website. We ensure that all identified issues are corrected in line with the latest accessibility standards.
Leveraging a network of expertise.
As a partner of an industry leader in accessibility platform development, we are able to leverage a broader network of accessibility expertise and resources. This collaboration enhances our ability to provide comprehensive and up-to-date technical solutions for each client.
Embrace the power of inclusivity and set your brand apart.
Accessibility Widgets and Overlays: Separating Fact from Fiction
In a landscape cluttered with quick fixes for web accessibility, it’s crucial to discern the real from the superficial. Accessibility widgets and overlays offer a tempting shortcut to compliance, but do they truly fulfill the promise of an accessible internet for everyone?
The Reality of Quick Fixes
Accessibility widgets and overlays are often marketed as simple solutions to complex accessibility issues. However, these tools fail to address the nuanced needs of all users, potentially offering a false sense of compliance without truly making content accessible.
Impact on Users
These tools can actually impede access, as they may override or conflict with the assistive technologies that users with disabilities rely on. They’re also criticized for not resolving fundamental accessibility barriers, such as proper labeling, alternative text for images, and keyboard navigation.
Legal and Brand Risks
Relying on overlays does not exempt businesses from legal responsibilities under accessibility laws. In 2023, lawsuits against websites with overlays jumped by 60%, making up 30% of all accessibility lawsuits. There’s also a risk to your brand’s reputation, as the use of such overlays can attract negative attention and criticism.
Training and Support
The only effective way to ensure your website is accessible is by incorporating accessibility principles from the outset of your design and development processes. This involves a commitment to understanding and implementing WCAG guidelines and continuously evaluating and improving accessibility.
Accessible from the Start: Features of The Kestrel Co.’s Custom Websites
At The Kestrel Co., our custom-built accessible WordPress websites are crafted with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring they serve every user effectively. Here’s what sets our accessible websites apart:
Rigorous Adherence to WCAG Level AA
Through both automated tools and manual expert audits, we ensure your website meets the rigorous requirements of WCAG Level AA success criteria.
Adaptive and Mobile-Optimized Design
Our websites boast a responsive layout, adapting seamlessly to various devices and screen sizes to ensure a consistent user experience for everyone, anywhere.
WCAG-Compliant Fonts and Color Schemes
We carefully select fonts and color palettes that not only look great but also meet or exceed WCAG AA criteria for readability and contrast.
User-Friendly Management and Comprehensive Training
We provide a straightforward content management system coupled with training to empower you to maintain the accessibility of your website’s content.
Instruction on Accessible Content Creation
Our team guides you through the process of creating and managing content that upholds accessibility standards so you feel confident in the ability to remain compliant.
Inclusion of an Accessibility Statement
We help articulate your commitment to inclusivity with a clear accessibility statement on your site, enhancing transparency and trust.
Frequently Asked Questions About Web Accessibility
Navigating the intricate world of web accessibility can often bring up a host of questions, especially when you’re aiming to make your digital presence as inclusive as possible. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to enhance your existing efforts, our we’re here to shed light on some of the most pressing queries.
Partner with Us for an Inclusive Digital Future
Our digital landscape is ever-evolving, and at The Kestrel Co. we stay at the forefront of accessibility to ensure that your website isn’t just a destination but a journey toward inclusivity. Partner with us to ensure your website is not only ADA-compliant but also a welcoming space for every user in St. Louis and beyond. Making your website accessible mitigates legal risks and makes good business sense by avoiding pitfalls like brand damage, missed opportunities, and a weaker organization. We invite you to contact The Kestrel Co. today for a personalized evaluation. Together, we can make sure your website stands as a beacon of accessibility and inclusion.