Ada Compliance What It Is And Why You Should Care

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<ul><li><p> 03.19.09 | Alpine UI Group | UIGroup@alpineinc.com | Author: Ezio Magarotto, Senior UI Architect/Developer </p><p> ADA Compliance: What it is and Why You Should Care </p><p>What is ADA Compliance? </p><p>ADA is an acronymic for Americans with Disabilities Act. There are </p><p>several other similar U.S. laws which govern these issues such as IDEA, </p><p>and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and Section 508). </p><p>Additionally, accessibility is addressed by many international laws. </p><p>While this article is only concerned with ADA Compliancy as it relates to </p><p>Web accessibility, do note that the above laws cover all facets of our </p><p>environment. ADA Compliancy exists everywhere from our schools and </p><p>offices to museums and government buildings. </p><p>The governing body of the Web, the Worldwide Web Consortium </p><p>(W3C), has developed international guidelines for Web accessibility that </p><p>have become the foundation for most Web accessibility laws </p><p>throughout the world. </p><p>Essentially, ADA Compliancy, as it relates to the Internet and specifically </p><p>Web sites, concerns itself with the ability of disabled individuals to </p><p>perform all the same tasks as able-bodied persons while browsing, </p><p>searching, buying, or otherwise navigating on the Web. </p><p>Why Your Business Should Care </p><p>Imagine the following scenarios </p><p> A potential customer, Emily, who suffers from severe glaucoma, </p><p>enters the home page of your Web site hoping to purchase a </p><p>product Google has identified you offer. She attempts to traverse </p><p>your site to find said product. However, your primary navigation is </p><p>constructed entirely of images that have no accompanying ALT </p><p>attribute for the screen reader Emily depends upon to read to her </p><p>the contents of a Web page. While Emily in our example is </p><p>fictitious, millions of people the world over who suffer from a range </p><p>of vision issues from poor eye sight to complete blindness depend </p><p>on such screen reading software in order to navigate the Internet. </p><p>Emily, after struggling unsuccessfully for several minutes, leaves </p><p>your Web site in frustration. Not only have you lost a potential </p><p>customer and her immediate sale, but you have also inadvertently </p><p>demonstrated to her that she and others who suffer vision maladies </p><p>are not important to your business. Another Google result directs </p><p>Emily to your competitor who also has an image based navigation </p><p>structure but who wisely employs the ALT attribute. Emily is able to </p><p>According to the World Health </p><p>Organization, of the world's more </p><p>than six billion people, between </p><p>750 million and one billion have a </p><p>disability. In the United States </p><p>alone, there are over 54 million </p><p>people with disabilities. The </p><p>number is increasing, in part, </p><p>because people are living longer </p><p>and health programs are </p><p>continually improving. 2 </p><p>Recently, Target settled charges </p><p>that its website was inaccessible to </p><p>the blind. The Company agreed to </p><p>pay $6 million. Experts say that </p><p>this settlement will trigger suits </p><p>against other retailers and </p><p>businesses. 3 </p><p>Though estimates vary, most </p><p>studies find that about one fifth </p><p>(20%) of the population has some </p><p>kind of disability. Not all of these </p><p>people have disabilities that make </p><p>it difficult for them to access the </p><p>internet, but it is still a significant </p><p>portion of the population. </p><p>Businesses would be unwise to </p><p>purposely exclude 20, 10, or even 5 </p><p>percent of their potential </p><p>customers from their Web sites. </p><p>For schools, universities, and </p><p>government entities it would not </p><p>only be unwise, but in many cases, </p><p>it would also break the law. 1 </p></li><li><p> 03.19.09 | Alpine UI Group | UIGroup@alpineinc.com | Author: Ezio Magarotto, Senior UI Architect/Developer </p><p> ADA Compliance: What it is and Why You Should Care </p><p>locate the product she was seeking, makes her purchase, and leaves </p><p>your competitors Web site feeling happy and pleased that they </p><p>understand and meet her needs. </p><p> A potential customer, Mark who suffers from arthritis and cannot </p><p>use a mouse for his Internet use, enters the home page of your Web </p><p>site hoping to purchase a product Google has identified you offer. </p><p>He is able to locate the product category by selecting a link in your </p><p>primary navigation, find the exact product he desires, and add it to </p><p>his shopping cart. As Mark arrives at the registration/checkout </p><p>process he is met with a typical Web site form containing nearly two </p><p>dozen text fields. Unfortunately, you have not employed Tab </p><p>Indexing which Mark relies upon as do millions of others who </p><p>suffer motor disabilities caused by a range of conditions from </p><p>arthritis to multiple sclerosis -- to navigate Web sites. Without the </p><p>use of a mouse Mark is unable to access the form fields and enter </p><p>his shipping address, billing address, and payment information. </p><p>After having spent a significant amount of time on your Web site </p><p>already he becomes very frustrated now that he is unable to </p><p>complete his purchase. Not only have you lost a customer and his </p><p>potential sale, but you have also shown Mark that he and those like </p><p>him who are unable to use a mouse are not important to your </p><p>business. Another Google result directs Mark to a competitor who </p><p>employs Tab Indexing on all its Web site forms. Mark is relieved to </p><p>not have experienced the same disappointment that he did on your </p><p>site. He purchases the identical product you carry from your </p><p>competitor and leaves their Web site feeling happy and pleased that </p><p>they understand and meet his needs. </p><p> A potential customer, Jenny who is deaf, enters the home page of </p><p>your Web site hoping to purchase a product Google has identified </p><p>you offer. She navigates to the product page where you present a </p><p>multimedia tutorial of the products use and care. Unfortunately </p><p>you have failed to caption your videos. Jenny attempts to make </p><p>sense of the tutorial but is not able to follow the visual </p><p>presentation. Disappointed, she leaves your Web site and returns </p><p>to Google. Not only have you lost a customer and her potential </p><p>sale, but you have also proved to Jenny that she and other </p><p>individuals who are deaf are not important to your business. She </p><p>locates a competitors Web site which offers not only video </p><p>captioning but also textual transcripts of their product and news </p><p>videos. Feeling confident she understands the product and its uses, </p><p>According to the World Health </p><p>Organization, more than 750 </p><p>million people worldwide have a </p><p>disability and over 60 million are </p><p>in the United States. This makes </p><p>people with disabilities the largest </p><p>minority group in the U.S. And this </p><p>number will continue to grow, in </p><p>part, because people are living </p><p>longer. 4 </p><p>Arthritis is a major cause of </p><p>mobility issues for the elderly. </p><p>The US-based Arthritis Foundation </p><p>reported in 2008 that 50% of </p><p>Americans over 65 experience </p><p>arthritis. 5 </p><p>A survey published in Information </p><p>Week found that the largest </p><p>increase of Internet usage has </p><p>come from the 7075 age group. In </p><p>2005 only 26% of this age group </p><p>used the internet, compared to </p><p>46% in 2008. 6 </p><p>The fastest growing group of </p><p>Internet users is the Baby Boomer </p><p>generation. This group, which in </p><p>large numbers will experience the </p><p>health changes that come with </p><p>aging, will be the largest customer </p><p>demographic on the Internet for </p><p>the foreseeable future. </p></li><li><p> 03.19.09 | Alpine UI Group | UIGroup@alpineinc.com | Author: Ezio Magarotto, Senior UI Architect/Developer </p><p> ADA Compliance: What it is and Why You Should Care </p><p>Jenny makes her purchase. She leaves your competitors Web site </p><p>feeling happy and pleased that they understand and meet her needs. </p><p>Scenarios like the ones above occur hundreds, if not thousands, of times </p><p>each day as people with varying degrees and types of disability browse </p><p>the Internet. Do you want your Web site and company to be perceived </p><p>as unreceptive to the needs of a demographic which constitutes nearly </p><p>25% of the US population? At best your business will lose out on </p><p>thousands of potential customers; at worse it could be the target of a </p><p>lawsuit. With the assistance of the ADA Compliance and Web </p><p>Accessibility experts at Alpine Consulting, Inc. your business can instead </p><p>be a place where all individuals, regardless of abilities, are able to easily </p><p>find the information, services, and products you provide. </p><p>How Alpine can Help </p><p>Contact the Alpine UI Group 8 today to schedule a Detailed ADA </p><p>Compliance Report of your Web site accompanied by our Web </p><p>Accessibility Recommendations. </p><p>Please direct any questions or comments regarding this White Paper to </p><p>Ezio Magarotto at emagarotto@alpineinc.com. </p><p>1234567 </p><p>About Alpine Consulting, Inc. Headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, Alpine Consulting is a professional Information Technology </p><p>services firm focused on helping IT organizations deliver business value. Alpine Consulting specializes in e-business </p><p>solutions, custom development and systems integration for medium and larger companies. Clients of Alpine Consulting </p><p>have successfully implemented e-business solutions that have resulted in significant business process improvements, faster </p><p>time to market and considerable return on investment. For more information on how Alpine can help with your e-business </p><p>solutions contact us at 847-605-0788, info@alpineinc.com or visit our Web site at http://www.alpineinc.com. For more </p><p>information about Alpine Consulting and our solution offerings, please contact Stan Duda at 847-605-0788 or </p><p>sduda@alpineinc.com. </p><p> 1 http://www.webaim.org/intro/ </p><p>2 http://www-03.ibm.com/able/access_ibm/qa.html </p><p>3 http://www.arthritis.org/apcca.php </p><p>4 http://www-03.ibm.com/able/access_ibm/reasons.html </p><p>5 http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080921/REG/309229989 </p><p>6 http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/ebusiness/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212903496 </p><p>7 http://www.adobe.com/macromedia/accessibility/gettingstarted/accessibility.html#accessibility_important </p><p>8 uigroup@alpineinc.com </p><p>Accessibility offers benefits for all </p><p>users. As with many </p><p>improvements intended for </p><p>individuals with disabilities, the </p><p>enhancements of accessible design </p><p>offer benefits for all users of the </p><p>web. Anyone who has pushed a </p><p>shopping cart out of a grocery </p><p>store can attest to the value of </p><p>automatic doors and ramps cut </p><p>into curbs. Similarly, accessible </p><p>web pages are often easier to read, </p><p>easier to navigate, and faster to </p><p>download. 7 </p></li></ul>

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