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What You Can Learn from the Large Midwest Grocery Chain ADA Compliance Settlement

What You Can Learn from the Large Midwest Grocery Chain ADA Settlement

With the holiday rush going on, it’s possible you missed that a Midwest-based grocery store chain headquartered in Iowa reached a settlement with the U.S. Government to fix issues with its website that were found not to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the COVID-19 vaccine registration on their website didn’t make proper ADA accommodations for all users. We’re here to help you learn how you can apply lessons from this case to your website.

Why the Grocery Chain Needed to Make ADA Compliance Updates to Their Website

The U.S. Government initiated an ADA audit of the grocery chain’s COVID Registration portal. Following that review, it was determined that the portal was “not accessible to some individuals with disabilities, including those who use screen reader software and those who have difficulty using a mouse to navigate the website, in violation of the ADA,” according to a joint statement released by them and the U.S. government. Specifically, per the statement, users encountered:

  • Images, buttons, and form fields that were inaccurate or had incorrect alternative text or labels
  • Pop-up windows, error messages and drop-down menus that were not reported to screen readers

As part of the agreement, this chain will make the necessary updates to its registration portal to ensure the portal conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA compliance as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium.

Why ADA and WCAG Compliance Is Important for Your Website

Your website needs to be accessible to everyone. Failing to meet WCAG compliance standards for your company is the same as not having a handicap-accessible entrance to a brick-and-mortar location. But knowing the requirements for web content accessibility is difficult. That’s why you need to work with a web services provider who can do the work to make sure your website complies.

Most importantly, it is key to have a plan. It’s very possible to make developments on your website without meeting all the WCAG standards. But if you have a user that is unable to use your website with screen readers or other tools, you need to have a plan to make accommodations for those users. This allows you to make updates quickly and avoid potential legal action while meeting all your customers’ needs.

If you have questions about how to implement WCAG AA compliance standards on your website, contact VGM Forbin. Our team can audit your current site and create a plan to address any WCAG issues.