Understanding ADA Compliance Penalties: What You Need to Know and How to Avoid Them

minute read
April 4, 2023

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a landmark piece of legislation for individuals with disabilities, with the goal of providing equal access to goods and services.

As businesses increasingly move online, ADA compliance has become a crucial aspect of the digital world. We’re here to dive into the world of ADA compliance penalties and explore how you can avoid them by making your website accessible to everyone.

What are ADA Compliance Penalties?

ADA compliance penalties are fines imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on businesses that fail to adhere to the accessibility standards set forth by the ADA. These penalties serve as a deterrent to non-compliance and help ensure that businesses take the necessary steps to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Types of ADA Compliance Penalties

There are two types of ADA compliance penalties:

Civil Penalties

These are fines imposed on businesses for violating the ADA. The maximum civil penalty for a first-time violation is $75,000, while subsequent violations carry a maximum fine of $150,000.

Compensatory Damages

In addition to civil penalties, businesses may also be required to pay compensatory damages to individuals who have suffered harm as a result of the business's non-compliance. These damages can include the costs of emotional distress, lost wages, and other expenses incurred by the affected individual.

Why Is ADA Compliance Important for Websites?

ADA compliance is essential for websites for several reasons:

Legal Obligation

Businesses are legally required to provide equal access to their goods and services, both online and offline. Non-compliant websites risk facing ADA compliance penalties , which can be costly and damaging to a business's reputation.


By making your website accessible, you are creating an inclusive environment that caters to a diverse range of users, including those with disabilities.

Better User Experience

Accessible websites are not only beneficial for users with disabilities; they generally provide a better overall user experience for all visitors. Improved navigation, clear content structure, and better readability can all result from implementing accessibility measures.

Positive Brand Image

Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility can help enhance your brand's image and reputation, showing that you value inclusivity and are dedicated to serving all customers.

Increased Market Reach

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are over 1 billion people worldwide with some form of disability. By ensuring your website is accessible, you can tap into this vast market and potentially increase your customer base.

ada compliance penalties

How Can Your School Avoid ADA Compliance Penalties?

To avoid the financial and reputational damage associated with ADA compliance penalties, businesses should take the following steps:

Audit Your School's Website

Conduct a thorough review of your website to identify any accessibility issues. Use tools like the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) or the Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) to help you assess your site's compliance.

Implement Accessibility Features

Make the necessary changes to your website to ensure it meets ADA guidelines. This may include adding alternative text for images, ensuring proper contrast ratios for text and background colors, providing transcripts for audio content, and making sure navigation menus can be operated with a keyboard.

Other adjustments may involve making sure forms are accessible and ensuring that your website is compatible with various assistive technologies such as screen readers.

Train Your Staff

Educate your team on the importance of web accessibility and ADA requirements. This will help ensure that new content and website updates adhere to accessibility standards. Offer regular training sessions and provide resources for staff to reference when needed.

Develop an Accessibility Policy

Create a comprehensive accessibility policy that outlines your business's commitment to ADA compliance and guides staff in adhering to accessibility standards. This policy should be easily accessible on your website and should be reviewed and updated periodically.

Monitor Your Website

Regularly review your website to ensure that it remains ADA-compliant as your business grows and evolves. Make accessibility an ongoing priority by conducting periodic audits and addressing any new issues that arise.

Seek Expert Advice

If you're unsure about your website's compliance or need assistance with implementing accessibility features, consult with an ADA compliance expert who can guide you through the process. Hiring a professional to help you navigate the complex world of accessibility can save you time, money, and potential legal troubles.

Engage with the Disabled Community

Collaborate with individuals with disabilities to gather feedback on your website's accessibility. This valuable input can help you identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to creating an inclusive online experience.

Create an Accessibility Statement

Draft a clear and concise accessibility statement that outlines your commitment to ensuring an inclusive experience for all users. Include contact information for users to report any accessibility issues they encounter, and ensure your team is prepared to address any concerns promptly.

Keep Up with the Latest Developments

Accessibility standards and best practices are constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay informed about new developments and updates to the ADA guidelines. Subscribe to industry newsletters, attend webinars, and engage with the accessibility community to stay current on best practices.

Be Proactive

Rather than waiting for a complaint or lawsuit, proactively address accessibility issues on your website. By taking the initiative to make your website accessible, you demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity and reduce the risk of ADA compliance penalties.

How to Ensure Your Website Is ADA Compliant

ADA compliance penalties can have a significant impact on businesses that fail to meet accessibility standards. By taking the necessary steps to ensure your website is accessible to all users, you not only avoid these penalties but also create a more inclusive online experience for everyone.

Start by auditing your website, implementing accessibility features, and training your staff to make ADA compliance a top priority for your business. By being proactive, engaging with the disabled community, and keeping up to date with the latest developments in accessibility, you can create an online presence that is both legally compliant and welcoming to all users.

Working with an expert is always a good decision. Get in touch with SOLVED Consulting to help you ensure your website is ADA compliant in 2023 standards.

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