Recently, the department of justice stated that they consider websites as places of accommodation. With this in mind, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance kicks in as websites have to be accessible to the general public. Non-ADA compliant websites can end up causing problems.
As an MSP, it is essential to ensure that your website and your client are ADA compliant. A person with a disability could be blind, mobility impaired, or deaf. They all need to be able to access your website. You might ask, ‘How can a blind man see a website? How can they use a cell phone?’ Well, they can.
A blind person, for example, can navigate a website using a screen reader. The screen reader reads what’s on the screen, whether you’re in a browser or on your desktop. This software, however, only works for websites designed using the standard HTML requirements. If you fail to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), software like the screen reader won’t work.
Designing a website correctly for ADA compliance also makes it accessible to Google. As an MSP, you could be responsible for an ADA compliance violation. Besides keeping you out of trouble, MSP ADA Compliance can help you generate revenue. Here’s how it works.
What Should MSPs Do to Maintain ADA Compliance?
Although you may not manage your client’s websites, plaintiffs can sue you if they are not ADA compliant. To avoid this from the beginning, perform a quick check of your client’s websites regularly. If they are out of compliance, make recommendations to help them get into compliance. You’ll be off the hook at that stage – a signed document or replied email indicating that you proposed what they should do.
If you’re not making any changes to your compliant site, you have little to worry about. Minor changes, like blog posts or button additions, can break the compliance. It is, therefore, essential to work with web designers or managers who understand accessibility.
Besides fixing the site, you need to remain committed to maintaining compliance over time. Regular checks can help you flag out any compliance issues. Your compliance statements should also be clear about your site’s status. Indicate that you are working on bringing all aspects up to standards, especially if you’re dealing with third-party plugins.
Use automated tools to provide reports on any ADA compliance issues on the websites you manage. While these tools are only 40% accurate, they give a good indication of the type of problems you need to monitor. They also provide explanatory information about steps you can take to fix the compliance issues. Companies will, however, need people with accessibility knowledge to interpret these reports.
Other issues you can bring to the attention of your dev team include:
Link texts – These texts should be direct about their exact destinations. Try to avoid any vague language in link texts.
Alternative texts for images – Use the ‘alt’ attribute to provide written texts of what the image depicts. The text may also explain why the image is on the page.
Headings – To help in structuring and organizing web content. Ensure they have the correct nesting.
Additionally, there are several color contrast analyzers of text. These analyzers help you cater to the needs of low-vision users while complying with ADA guidelines.
What Should an MSP Do In the case of A Lawsuit?
The healthcare industry, specifically, is a significant target for ADA compliance lawsuits. Attorneys are also targeting small businesses that don’t put up a fight. If you do get a suit, here are steps you need to take:
Contact an attorney
Start immediate steps to remediate your site.
Put up an accessibility statement.
How Does ADA Compliance Provide Potential Revenue Opportunities for MSPs?
MSPs offer web development services as a one-time service. Monitoring the website could become a full-time gig meaning that it won’t generate income. MSPs with a separate web development side can refer clients without ADA compliance and earn from this. Alternatively, you could partner with web developers to handle the compliance part of the company. Such services serve as excellent differentiators from competitors in your region of operation.
MSPs can also help clients certify their websites if they don’t work on them directly. Such proactive services earn confidence with your clients as they realize you’re looking after them on many different levels.
You could also set up a help desk to offer support to clients on different compliant issues. When clients reach out for assistance, go beyond merely answering their questions. Try to teach them everything that it takes to ensure compliance in their specific setting. In case the dev team changes, train whoever comes on board. Advise hiring clients to hire service providers with accessibility knowledge.
Webinars is the other big thing for MSPs keen on making the most potential revenue opportunities in ADA Compliance. Training interested companies on compliance issues can help you earn more business on the side. You may quickly gain leads from your raising awareness campaigns. Besides webinars, you can send newsletters to your clientele and potential clients as part of your awareness plan.
You could also use your accessible website as a way of getting potential business. You can use it as a marketing tool to educate and inform your clients about the need for having accessible websites. Clients are more likely to pay attention when they know you can help them get out of trouble.
Fuel Your Growth With MSP Marketing Services
When it comes to marketing your MSP, getting new leads is the only thing that matters. Partnering with a trusted MSP marketing provider can step up your marketing efforts. Ulistic, a reliable MSP marketing partner, can work with your marketing and sales team to drive new leads into your sales docket.
Our services will help your team remain profitable as you hit your short and long term goals. We offer years of digital marketing experience, web development, email marketing, and sales development to build your brand.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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