Website ADA Compliance

James Page

By James Page

May 19, 2021

Website ADA Compliance Hero Banner

“Can you help to make sure our website is ADA compliant?”

We get this question a lot, and the answer is yes!

Like most regulatory standards, there are varying degrees of digital compliance. This month we’re discussing the basics of website ADA compliance and how to determine the best solution for your company’s online presence.

What is Website ADA Compliance?

ADA compliance refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design, which is a federal law that requires many websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. This law applies to:

  • State and local government agencies
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Businesses that operate for the benefit of the public

Many of our clients who operate a business that’s open to the public are therefore required to have a website that’s ADA compliant.

If the website is not ADA compliant, business owners run the risk of being sued by someone with a disability who can’t access the website. These lawsuits have continued to grow steadily year over year with a 53% increase in cases from 2018 to 2020 (3550 total cases in 2020 across the U.S.). The cost of an ADA compliance lawsuit can range from $25,000+ including legal fees, damages, and the remediation meets compliance.

The major issue here is that many business owners aren’t familiar enough with their website to know whether or not it’s ADA compliant. They also don’t know who to ask to check whether their website is ADA compliant. A quick google search for “is my website ADA compliant” returns countless results of ads, scans, and solutions that over-promise and under-deliver. The rest of this article will be dedicated to helping business owners understand the different levels of website ADA compliance, and how to choose the right one for your business.

Levels of Website ADA Compliance:


Self-Compliance includes working with a web developer to make sure your website is ADA compliant. This involves a manual audit of every page on your website to evaluate for accessibility, using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG is the basis for ADA compliance.

The WCAG Guidelines can be distilled into four different principles, collectively known as POUR. These principles evaluate your website to make sure it meets these requirements for people with disabilities:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

It’s important to note that with Self Compliance you’re at the mercy of the web developer making these changes. ADA compliance includes evaluating small details on every page of your website, and if all these details aren’t accounted for then the website may not be compliant.

Certified Compliance

Certified Compliance involves hiring an accessibility agency to work with a web developer to make sure your website is ADA compliant. These agencies will typically provide an ADA-compliant certification following the completion of the work. This certification is an important document that can help defend your business in the event of an ADA compliance lawsuit.

The cost to work with an accessibility agency can range from $5000+ depending on the number of pages and complexity of your website. This estimate does not include the separate cost of a web developer to make the changes advised by the accessibility agency.

Insurance Coverage

There are also options to endorse your Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) or General Liability Policy to provide coverage for the business in the event of an ADA compliance lawsuit. This coverage may provide financial reimbursement for the Defense Cost and Damages, but likely won’t cover the remediation needed to bring your website up to compliance standards.

Hiring Hudson Creative to Help with Website ADA Compliance

While Hudson Creative does not offer Certified Compliance (or sell insurance) we’re in a unique position to advise clients on the right solution for their website.

No matter what level of ADA compliance you choose, you’ll still need to hire a website developer to make the necessary changes to your website (even with Certified Compliance your own web developer will be the one to make the changes). Hudson Creative has over 10 years of experience making these types of website changes, and a project workflow that’s built for ADA compliance. We also have vetted partners who offer Certified Compliance and insurance coverage and would be happy to make these introductions for you.

Ironically, many of the same characteristics that make a website ADA compliant are similar to those that make your website SEO-friendly and improve page load speed. The gold standard for valid website markup is the W3C Markup Validation Service. This scan will not tell you whether your website is ADA compliant or SEO-friendly, but it will tell you whether or not your website contains valid HTML, which is an important piece of the puzzle for both.

It’s almost as if the universe is rewarding businesses for being more accessible to people with disabilities by increasing the visibility of ADA-compliant websites in search engines!

Thanks for reading and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Written By
James Page

Jimmy started Hudson Creative over 10 years ago as a one-man web development company. Since then, he has published hundreds of websites, developed an unmatched knowledge of search engine optimization, and built the Hudson team to rally around a simple mission: execute our unique, proven digital marketing tactics to help clients reach their business goals.


Sign up for the Hudson Hub newsletter.

Receive new blog posts straight to your inbox as soon as they are published.

More from the Hudson Hub

TripAdvisor for Restaurants

This article will walk you through the steps to claim your free TripAdvisor listings and take advantage of the 200 Million monthly guests researching local restaurants at their next travel destination.

Read the Full Blog Post >
5 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Conversions

When it comes to web design, companies are tasked with the challenge of creating memorable websites that adhere to brand identity and fill their pages with relevant content, create keyword rich metadata to rank in search engines, and answer the question “What do we want people to do when they visit our website?”

Read the Full Blog Post >
Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

Driving Business in the “New Normal”. These digital marketing tips will help you make the most of the hand that has been dealt to us all.

Read the Full Blog Post >
Writing Effective Metadata for SEO (Page Titles & Meta Descriptions)

Metadata describes on-page elements that communicate and clarify website information for search engines. Constructive metadata can be crucial in effective Search Engine Optimization for businesses.

Read the Full Blog Post >
Website ADA Compliance

ADA compliance refers to the federal law that requires many websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. Many of our clients who operate a business that’s open to the public are required to have a website that’s ADA compliant.

Read the Full Blog Post >
Optimizing Google My Business for Local Searches

Google My Business is an important tool to help to target these local searches. The information on this listing will have an impact on how people view your business online.

Read the Full Blog Post >

Business Growth Starts Here

Are you ready to speak with someone about reaching your online business goals? A marketing professional from Hudson Creative is standing by ready to help.

Contact Us