Does Website Accessibility Matter In 2023?

Website accessibility matters now more than ever before. ADA litigations have been flying around like confetti, hitting large and small businesses in the entertainment industry.

When all your five senses work correctly, it is easy to forget the blind man who tries to access your bowling alley with a screen reader and keyboard, but they are hit with countless access barriers. Website accessibility means creating a way for our brothers and sisters living with disabilities to access your services.

People with low vision, blindness, and colorblindness might not see things like the rest of us, but they still access the internet for information and entertainment. Deaf people also want to feel and enjoy movies and games. Even children with cognitive disabilities like autism and Down syndrome play video games and interact with the internet. For so long, our friends living with disabilities have suffered exclusion from online businesses in silence, but not anymore. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law in 1990 by former president George Bush, people living with disabilities have broken their silence.

All businesses that depend on the public for profit are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title III of the ADA demands that your bowling alley needs to be accessible to those with disabilities – whether or not you have employees.

The deaf is suing movie theatres for lacking closed captioning in their videos. The blind is suing bowling alleys when they cannot access the websites with screen readers. And can you blame them? If you look at the ADA lawsuits published on , you will quickly notice that a small group of plaintiffs has filed most of the cases. In fact, a report by Accessibility estimated that six plaintiffs filed almost 20% of website accessibility lawsuits in 2020. With an eye for money, plaintiff firms have quickly turned inaccessible websites into gold mines.

In 2017, a blind New Yorker filed an ADA violation lawsuit against Showplace Entertainment Center, LLC when he couldn’t navigate the company’s bowling alley. He cited missing alt text in images, links without descriptive text, and redundant links in the website among his many complaints.

Why Make Your Website Accessible?

Web accessibility is not an option anymore; it’s a necessity. But the truth is, we don’t need lawsuits to remind us of our responsibility to our brothers and sisters living with disabilities. And who better than business people to include those who lack vision, hearing, and other sensory incapacities?

Positive User Feedback

Americans living with disabilities are not exempt from the desire for pleasure. When they find a website that works well with assistive technologies, they are sure to hang on longer. Make the most of website accessibility while you still can.

Safety Net

Plaintiff firms don’t just stumble on inaccessible websites; they hunt them down. They will send you a demand letter to settle out-of-court after testing your website in a publicly available website accessibility scanner. When you receive a demand letter, you can settle out of court (which would cost you about $3,000 to $5,000 or more), fight the case (which winning is highly unlikely), or ignore the letter (and lose the case without a fight). For any path your bowling alley chooses, you have to pay damage fees and make your website accessible on short notice.

But if you are a proactive business, you can start making your website accessible today and take your time at it.

Brand Authority

When one blind man stumbles upon your accessible bowling alley, that’s an instant conversion. And he will refer his other blind friends to your website, and the chain of referrals goes on and on. If your competitors are not accessible, the more reason to make your website accessible.

Higher Ranking On Google

Google uses accessibility and user satisfaction to determine page ranking on search results. There’s nothing that turns off online users more than a hard-to-navigate website. Besides analyzing your website’s accessibility features, Google’s ranking algorithm detects poor user experience based on the user’s bounce rate. Both these factors contribute to your website’s page ranking.

How To Make Your Website Accessible?

Before you make any changes to your bowling alley, you need to determine where your website stands. What does it have, and what’s missing? For that, you need a website accessibility scanner. A reputable website accessibility scanner will analyze your website, give you a score and show you precisely what you need to improve your website.

With most of our clients coming from the entertainment industry, we know what it takes to make an entertainment website accessible. We created a website accessibility scanner specific to the entertainment industry. Find out the level of accessibility on your bowling alley and use our resources to improve your website performance. You get a comprehensive report that your development team can use to improve your website. And whenever you face challenges, we have website accessibility experts ready to answer your questions. Ready to start your accessibility journey? Get in touch with us today.