Legal Compliance and How to Update Your Website to Meet Changing Regulations

A laptop with a graphic representing a legal compliance for a website.

In the fast-paced digital world, ensuring your website stays compliant with changing regulations is critical. From accessibility standards to data privacy laws, legal compliance can come across as complicated and overwhelming due to its ever-changing nature. To help you better understand, we’ll explore what legal compliance means for your website, why it’s crucial for your business, and how to navigate the challenges of updating your website to meet changing regulations. 

Legal compliance for websites involves a wide array of regulations and standards aimed at safeguarding the rights of users and protecting sensitive information. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets forth accessibility guidelines to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities. 

Similarly, in Ontario, Canada, the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandates accessibility standards for websites. These regulations are enforced by governing bodies to uphold the principles of inclusivity and equal access to digital content. Ensuring your website follows the proper regulating body is critical for legal compliance.

Why Website Accessibility is Important

Website accessibility isn’t just about meeting legal requirements—it’s about creating an inclusive online environment that caters to all users, no matter what their limitations may be. Failure to comply with accessibility standards not only exposes businesses to potential legal liabilities and fines but also excludes a significant portion of the population that depends on accessibility software to navigate the web. 

To put this in perspective, here are some interesting facts regarding web accessibility: 

  • 98% of websites don’t comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1. (Source: AccessiBi)
  • 16% of the world’s population experience a significant disability. This means that there are nearly 1.3 billion people who may need assistive tools and technologies to access online content. (Source: World Health Organization)
Keys on keyboard that represent different disabilities for website accessibility.

Imagine the frustration a user who is visually impaired experiences while trying to navigate a website that lacks proper alt text for images or keyboard navigation. By prioritizing website accessibility, businesses not only comply with legal obligations but also enhance user experience, allowing them to expand their audience and present a positive brand image.

Businesses that do not follow legal compliance and accessibility guidelines can be vulnerable to: 

  • Lawsuits – ADA violation fines range from $55,000 to $150,000, while major AODA violation fines can be excessive as $50,000 per day
    • Approximately 4605 lawsuits were filed in 2023 against businesses who failed to comply to ADA guidelines
  • Damaged Reputation
  • Loss of Customers 

Learn more about ADA and AODA guidelines to help prevent risks. 

Conducting a thorough accessibility audit is the first step in ensuring your website meets legal and regulatory requirements. Partnering with the experts at Innovative Global Vision, who specialize in accessibility services, can streamline this process and provide actionable insights. 

Key areas to assess during an accessibility audit include:

  • Website Structure
  • Content Accessibility 
  • Multimedia Elements
  • Interactive Features

By leveraging software tools and testing techniques, accessibility experts can identify areas of non-compliance and recommend next step actions.

Additionally, businesses must stay informed about relevant regulations applicable to their industry and geographic location. Whether it’s the ADA in the USA or AODA in Ontario, understanding the specific requirements is essential for maintaining legal compliance.

How to Update Your Website to Ensure it Meets Requirements

Two individuals looking into a computer screen, checking if the legal compliance for their website.

Once areas of non-compliance are identified, it’s crucial to take immediate action to update your website accordingly. This may involve optimizing website structure, revising content to ensure readability and visibility, and implementing accessible design elements. Working with accessibility experts here at IGV, this ensures that changes are implemented correctly and in accordance with best practices.

Moreover, ongoing monitoring and maintenance are essential to ensure continued compliance with evolving regulations. Regularly reviewing and updating your website’s accessibility features is important moving forward to avoid falling behind.

Next Steps

Staying up to date of legal and regulatory requirements is essential for businesses operating on the web. By prioritizing website accessibility and compliance, businesses not only erase legal risks but also provide inclusivity and enhance user experience for everyone. 

At IGV, we specialize in providing expert accessibility services tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure your website is compliant with legal and regulatory requirements.

Additional Reading

Stuart Silcox
May 15, 2024

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