The Most Common Web Accessibility Mistakes People Are Sued For
According to the Wall Street Journal, web accessibility lawsuits rose 64% last year and are continuing to rise over time. Most web accessibility lawsuits are caused by simple mistakes that businesses make when creating their websites. Here are the most common web accessibility mistakes you can look out for when you’re creating your website.
Missing Alt Text
Alt text, also known as alternative text, is used to describe images, videos, and other types of media to blind users who are not able to see them. This is one of the most common things businesses miss when
creating their websites—they forget to add alt text to all of their content and then they are in danger of lawsuit as soon as their website is live. One popular artist, Beyonce, was sued for her website failing to include alt text. If you find yourself in this position, adding alt text to the content on your page and ensuring the alt text is properly coded will reduce your website’s risk of legal trouble.
Labels are used to communicate to users what the content is about, and they are used to describe different sections of the website. It’s important for a website to have clear labels so users who have assistive technologies don’t have any issues navigating it. Assistive technologies use labels to move around a website and identify the purpose of various components of the website. Without them, it would be nearly impossible for disabled users to access the site and this could result in a web accessibility lawsuit. The best way to fix this is to go through your website and make sure there are clear labels on every section.
According to Equalize Digital, “an Empty Link error means that one of the links present on the web page is empty or contains no text describing where the link will go if clicked or triggered.” This most commonly happens with WordPress sites when a link contains web fonts, icon fonts, or SVGs. It can also accidentally happen when copying and pasting body text in the WordPress editor. Empty links can cause a lot of issues for people trying to use your website since they’ll get error messages every time they click on the link they want. To avoid this from happening, make sure all of the links on your website work.
Redundant links are 2 or more adjacent links with the same address. These types of links can cause issues for users with disabilities who can only use a keyboard to navigate websites or who use assistive technologies. It causes additional navigation when using a keyboard and repetition for screen readers. Just like empty links, you can check your website for redundant links by going through all of your links. Fox News was sued for having both empty and redundant links in 2018, providing an example of the trouble that redundant links could land a site in.
Missing Page Titles
According to Equalize Digital, page titles “describe the content and purpose of a web page. If a theme fails to add title tags or the title field on your post or page is left blank so the theme cannot load a title, blind and visually impaired users may have a hard time determining the purpose of the page and what it is about.” Similar to labels, page titles are necessary for users with disabilities to navigate websites. If you realize your website is missing page titles, it is important to add them to your website editor.
Incompatibility with Screen Reader Technology
Missing alt text, missing labels, empty links, redundant links, and missing page titles all cause issues with screen readers. According to WebAIM, “screen readers convert digital text into synthesized speech. They empower [blind] users to hear content and navigate with the keyboard.” Big names like Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Amazon, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Nike, and Winn-Dixie have all been sued for having websites that are incompatible with screen readers. To prevent this from happening to you too, make sure you don’t make any of the common accessibility mistakes mentioned above.
Able IT Pro’s Role
If you find yourself questioning your website’s compliance with these six common mistakes that companies are sued for, a website accessibility report may provide a strong sense of direction. Our experts analyze the risks that your website presents, and the experience behind our team promises to deliver efficient corrections to any technical trouble.