What do Nike, Netflix and the NBA have in common?
a. They’re all massive, billion-dollar organizations.
b. They all begin with the letter “N.”
c. They’ve all been sued for websites that are not ADA compliant.
d. All of the above!
Yep, the answer is “d.”
Unfortunately, litigators are going after companies whose websites are not compliant for job seekers with disabilities. And staffing and recruiting agencies are prime targets. Obviously, your firm would never knowingly discriminate against any individual (especially a job seeker) with disabilities, but…
…could your website be unintentionally discriminating against job seekers with disabilities?
It’s a disturbing thought. And an issue you can’t afford to ignore. That’s why our CEO, David Searns, and one of our senior WCAG compliance experts recently hosted an informative webinar on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is impacting staffing websites.
Here are a few highlights from their presentation:
What is ADA compliance?
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
In September of 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.
People with visual impairment and/or other disabilities may have a tough time viewing your site and searching your jobs (either on their own or with the assistance of other technology) because of the way your site and/or job board is designed. The Standards for Accessible Design are intended to level the playing field, providing equal access to jobs for all people.
Who does the ADA affect?
- Americans with disabilities and their friends, families and caregivers.
- Private employers with 15 or more employees. This includes most staffing firms.
- Businesses operating for the benefit of the public, which includes government contractors.
- All state and local government agencies.
Why should your staffing or recruiting firm care about ADA?
- It’s the law – you could be sued for non-compliance!
- Fines for the first offense can go as high as $75,000.
- ADA compliance lawsuits are up 182% since 2018.
- 61 million Americans have a disability – that’s a big potential talent pool!
- 4.6% of people are blind or visually impaired.
- 5.9% of people are deaf or have a serious hearing impairment.
- When you’re ADA compliant you can put good people to work, help your clients get more work done, and improve your fill rates.
What does it mean to be an ADA-compliant website?
A compliant website is one that makes the information it contains as accessible as possible to people with a range of disabilities, whether long-term, short-term or permanent. An “ADA-compliant website” is really an umbrella term referencing any website that is trying to be accessible to people with disabilities. But when it comes to web development, it’s important to understand the difference among ADA, WCAG and Section 508.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the internet body that sets the international standards for the World Wide Web and its accessibility. W3C created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 and 2.1), which outlines those international accessibility standards.
Section 508 is a separate federal law (applicable to electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained or used by the federal government) with website guidelines that map to WCAG 2.0 to ensure technology is “accessible” (i.e., that it can be used as effectively by people with disabilities as by those without).
All three standards – 508, ADA and WCAG – have the same goal: to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities (e.g., color blindness, vision disabilities, hearing disabilities) in a way that is comparable to the access available to others.
It’s technical; it’s complex. And there’s a lot to know!
But don’t worry; that’s what we’re here for. Our WCAG compliance experts have pored over all of the regulations for you, and we’ve revamped our Starter and Custom Sites, as well as our Job Board, to comply with WCAG 2.0.
Want to learn more about ADA-compliant staffing websites?
Keep an eye on our blog. We’ll be publishing more helpful information to help you navigate this complex issue.
Read more about our ADA-compliant websites.
Connect with one of our marketing educators to learn more.
Please note: The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only; it should not be considered legal advice.