ADA Plug-Ins – Not an Easy Button Option

A faded wheelchair-accessible parking spot sign with text : ADA Plugins will not make your website ADA compliantMany innkeepers are asking about using “ADA plugins” on their sites rather than doing the work necessary to make their sites ADA compliant. We would recommend that if you have an ADA plugin, you will still need to do the work. A plug-in is not an easy button that protects you from ADA lawsuits. Some of the plug-in builders include InnSight and Userway – however, it’s important to note that neither company says that their plugin will make your site ADA compliant.

We aren’t against these plug-ins – to the contrary, if you want to use a plugin, go ahead and do so, but don’t add a plugin to your site and think you are compliant. You still need to make the changes that will make your website ADA compliant, such as:

  • Adding alt text to your images
  • Making sure your site is navigatable without a mouse, using keyboard tabbing…
  • …which includes keyboard users not getting “stuck”
  • Having at least a 4.5:1 color-contrast ratio between text and background
  • Having closed captions and transcripts on videos
  • Having consistent navigation
  • Having a web-accessibility policy page
  • Having a physical accessibility statement if you are not exempt that identifies the accessible and non-accessible features of the property. (Note: you’re exempt if you live on the property and rent 5 or less rooms).
  • …..And much more

Don’t rely on “easy-button” techniques to keep your website ADA compliant. You won’t regret taking the extra steps to make your website accessible.

2 thoughts on “ADA Plug-Ins – Not an Easy Button Option

  1. We’re all for supporting our disabled friends and travelers, but the ADA requirements for small business websites are seriously abusive to property owners and are discouraging one to continue business or even ever start.

    • Hi Ron,
      Part of the problem is that although the ADA has been in place since the 1990’s, Congress has not given exact, clear guidelines for websites, which makes nuisance lawsuits easy to file – it’s like the Wild West out there. Acorn has been helping our clients in the quest of the highest level of protection, before they are sued, by having the site as up to compliance as far as the WCAG guidelines; and should a lawsuit occur, they will be able to have their attorney deal with the situation expeditiously. And as you said, we should do our best to make websites accessible for disabled persons, who are truly trying to make travel plans and B&B reservations.

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