Myles, So I want to welcome everyone: toour webinar today, um I’m Myles, Keough CEOof, Spade Technology um we’re going to go. Overwhy CEOs should care if their website is ADAcompliant, and I have three uh people on thepanel today that are professionals withquite. A bit of experience in this field.We have Shep Davidson of Burns and Levinson. We have uh both Anthony and Jon uh Buonaspinaand um yeah, I’m gon na dive into it.

Pretty quickbecause. We’Ve got a lot of content to cover so I’mgonna start off. Uh Shep um you’ve been talking tome about this topic for a bit. It’S been probablya year and a half now you’ve been you’ve given meinformation about this going on and I’m startingto see it in the marketplace now. Um hoping youcould kind of you know share with us.

Some of theexperiences that your clients have had with this Shep Sure I’m going to hopefully screen sharehere, um perfect, and so this is the first timeI’ve done. The screen share before so. Hopefullyeverything works out: okay, um! So thanks Myles thanks everybody for joining us. Nothing alitigator like me: he likes better thanto, have a a group of people to whom hecan pontificate.

So I’m happy to do that for youguys today, um! So let’s go. You know, first to the uh. Let’S go to the way-back machine. Here So1990 George H.

Bush signed the Americanswith Disabilities Act. Um essentially theADA prohibits discrimination, uh based onon handicap, disability, The original purposeof the law were, for things like handicap, rampsso that people in wheelchairs don’t have totry to navigate stairs. They have elevatorsthings like that. Now the ADA only applies umto people that own lease or operate places, ofpublic accommodation. So your house doesn’t haveto comply with the ADA, but a hotel lobby does abank.

Does an office building? Does a supermarketdoes they’re all places of public accommodation.Now, starting in in the late 90s early 2000sthere, started to be a couple of lawsuits againstcompanies because uh they said their websitewasn’t ADA compliant and these lawsuits werebrought by people that were either blind or atleast visually-impaired, because what they Dois they’ll have what they call screen, readertechnology, which essentially software so whentheir mouse rolls across some text on a website itconverts the text into audio we’ll, basically readthe text through the computer to them. The problemwith, that is, that, if you don’t have special codeembedded in your website when it comes acrossthis picture here, for instance, it doesn’t knowwhat to do so. A blind person doesn’t know there’sa picture of George Bush there.

But if you embedcertain code, the mouse rolls across it. The screenreader technology sees it and then says: here’sa picture of a man signing a document flankedby four people, two of whom are in wheelchairs.So the initial defense that companies brought whenthese lawsuits were brought against them, was wellmy website isn’t a place. So how can it be a placeof public accommodation, Because again, the ADAonly applies to places of public accommodationand. There were two different lines of casesthat developed.

The first was in the ninthcircuit, which is California in the west, coastand that the other one was in the uh. Sorry thethe other one was on the east coast in Boston, inthe, first circuit And so the first big case, wasin 2006 in the northern district of Californiaand, then the ninth circuit and involved TargetCorporation, and they were sued by the NationalFederation for the Blind and the claim was thattheir website, wasn’t accessible to blind peopleso. It discriminated against them Now. What theninth circuit essentially said was they said: heyif you’ve got brick and mortar, like Target doesin stores, and you got a website well then we’regoing to say that your website is a place ofpublic accommodation, So that let off places likeeBay, for instance, there’s no brick and mortareBay. You can’t go to eBay, you can only accessit through the web.

...

So, under this ruling, eBayand any place that was just virtual was safe.um Now the next case that was really significantwas. The first circuit case against Netflix andthis was brought by the National Association, ofthe, Deaf um and so Netflix. Their defense was heylook at that Target case. What the ninth circuittalks about we’re like eBay, we don’t have a placewe’re just out in the cybersphere.

You can’t cometo Netflix So therefore, we should be off thecirc-. We should be off the hook first circuit.And. What the first circuit did was. They went backto the indicia in the Americans with DisabilityAct, where they talk about what it takes to makesomething a place of public accommodation.

Andsome of those things are a place where you canhave exhibition and entertainment. A placewhere sales are made a place, that’s a rentalestablishment, Then they looked at Netflix. Andthey said check, check, check, you’re, a place, ofpublic accommodation, So in the first circuit, umin, Massachusetts and and some other jurisdictionsif you uh meet these criteria, it doesn’t matterif, you have brick and mortar. If you’re sort ofa public-facing, you know consumer businessyour, website’s going to be a place of publicaccommodation, and we all know these days. If you’vegot a website, you’re selling stuff you’re, not justselling, you know out in California, you’re tryingto sell everywhere, so you can get sued here.

So inin 2010, the Department of Justice, basically saidhey, we’re looking at issuing some regulations. Sowe can have a little clarity here as to whatit what it takes for you to have your websitecompliant And they didn’t do it right away. Itwent on year after year after year and thenfinally in 2017, they said no we’re just kiddingwe’re not really going to issue any regulations.um. So what did they end up?

Settling on likewhat are the regulations. Today, then, Sowhat, what happened was there was enter thethe World Wide Web Consortium, they go by WC3and and their WCAG standards. So what is WC3? Well? They describe themselves as an internationalcommunity where member organizations full-timestaff and the public work together to develop webstandards and the standard they developed foraccessibility.

For for blind people on websitesfor instance is called WCAG, it’s now up to WCAG2.1 and essentially the courts, because there wereno nothing from the Department of Justice and noother regulations. The courts started looking tothis and essentially all the courts have adoptedthe standard and the standard right now is WCAG2.1 level. Double-A They have level single-A, double-A and triple-A, and the courts look atdouble-A Now.

Maybe the other guys in thewebinar can tell you what that really means. I just know you have to get up to that levelum and they can tell you on a more technicallevel what you have to do. That’S the standard.um Now with these lawsuits, there’s actually someI call it good news. It’S less-bad newsum, which is the plaintiffs in these casescan’t, get damages, So they can get what we callinjunctive relief.

They can get an order. Thatyour website be brought up to compliance withWCAG 2.1 double-A. They don’t get any damages. Okay, But here’s the bad news all right: they canrecover reasonable legal fees and that can bereally expensive.

There was a case about two yearsago down in Florida where Winn-Dixie supermarkets, which is like the Stop and Shop of Floridafor those of you who have been there, they got sued, saying their website wasn’tcompliant It went all the way through totrial They lost. They were ordered to bringtheir website up to level double-A of WCAG 2 0At the time – and they were also ordered topay a hundred thousand dollars in legal feesum. So and frankly, that’s not that much for a casethat’s gone through trial. I was surprised it wasthat low um, So it can add up uh to be a lot umNow um. The really bad news is that there are somestates that have developed their own statutes.

m. California has something called the Unruh Actand under California, the Unruh Act which basicallytracks the ADA so the same sort of uh substantiveliability standards, uh a plaintiff canget four thousand dollars per violationand. While I haven’t been able to find any law inthis, it would appear that that means every glitchon the website, everything that doesn’t comply. Withwcag 2 1 double-A $ 4,000 per violation on top ofthe legal fees. So if you’re sued in Californiayou know it can be very, very expensive, um Nowthe uh the tracking of these things, so it Imentioned started the late 90s early 2000sand, even by 2015 they’re only about 60 lawsuitsbut.

Then it really ramped up and you know 2018,2019. We’Ve got a ton of these lawsuits and itreally has not stopped. I mean I don’t know whatit’s tracking for 2020, but there there areplenty of these lawsuits that are going to…

.Myles Those 200 – you know over 2,000 differentsuits I mean. Are those uh? Are there that manylarge enterprises for them to go after Shep? So they all the these big boxyou know companies.

They getthey got hit a while ago, andthey’re fixing’em, so they are going after themoms and pops of the world now and one area isyou know hotels and motels. So so this is aliterally a screenshot. I get every morninga listing of new court filings in the federaldistrict court. In Boston – and this is a portion ofwhat – I got Apparently, on September 29th you cansee it’s the same plaintiff over there on the leftside. It’S the same description, ADA defendant’swebsite and I can tell you it’s the same lawyer aswell, But look who they’re going after R F.

aily Realty LLC At the Wagon Wheel, Motelum they’ve they’ve hit the big boxretailers and they know how to handle itand so they’re going after these small entitiesand. They have these testers that go out and willjust go to the website and see if it complies andif. It doesn’t they’ll bring these lawsuits so it’sabsolutely, not just for big companies. Everybodythat has any kind of consumer facing websiteneeds to be concerned about this, because you knowchances are you’re going to get hit with thisone way or the other um. These lawsuits aren’tgoing away.

Domino’S uh tried to um appeal a casefrom, the ninth circuit up to the Supreme Courtlast year, hoping that they could get the SupremeCourt to say website. Aren’T websites aren’t placesso, they can’t be places of public accommodationbut, they had no. They had no right to appeal theyhad to apply for what we call certiorari and theU S. Supreme Court said they weren’t going to takethe case Um So the way the law is right now umit’s not going away. The next thing that sort ofstarted coming down the pike is uh.

The same groupof lawyers have filed a whole bunch of lawsuitsagainst retail, saying that they discriminateagainst blind people because they’re gift cards, -physical gift cards, don’t have braille on them.It doesn’t look like those lawsuits are goingto, be successful, but it’s just another variationon on what these people are Doing um so the bigquestion, I’m sure some of you are asking is youknow. What can you do to mitigate this? Andthere are sort of four things that you can doyou know. The first is you got to make sure thatyou comply with WCAG 2.

double-A. It’S it reallyis, just a matter of time before you’re going toget hit with a lawsuit. If you don’t comply, unlessyou’re, just incredibly lucky um, the second thingis you’ve got to periodically check your websiteum and test it and make sure it remains compliantif. You have a strictly static website which neverchanges. Then then you really don’t have to dothis.

But if you add content to it, it could be adrop down menu and that requires apparently somekind of special code, any kind of image, any kindof change in color scheme. You have to do thatif. You have a dynamic website where things arechanging a lot you’re putting new product up therenew services up there constantly. You really haveto, be vigilant, um about doing this, um Myles, Even things likeblog posts and stuff. Like that Shep Sure, if you have a blog post, I mean I havea blog and if I happen to use you know an imageon, a particular blog post.

Now it’s up on a websitesomewhere, you better make sure you have some codeembedded in that um. So again, yeah you’ve got toperiodically check check it. If you have somebodyoutside a consultant or a company, that’s that’smanaging. Your website, designing your website youwant to make sure that your agreement with themuh has a rep and warranty that the website willcomply with WCAG 2.1 level, double-A and/or anindemnity.

If, if something happens that they willuh cover you for that, That that’s critical.um And the last thing is, if you sued or if youget a demand letter some some of the lawyersthat, do this actually still send demand lettersI’m, not really sure why, because uh, but if you’refortunate enough to actually get a demandletter, it gives you sort of A free chanceto fix everything before these legal fees havebeen incurred and you can cut off those damagesbut. You’Ve got to immediately address this.I’ve, seen a number of clients that threw itin the pile didn’t understand. It didn’t address itright away and it allows these lawyers to rack.

Upyou know the legal fees I’M I’m sure there aresome, you know true evangelists out there thatare that are bringing these lawsuits because theyreally want companies to comply and be accessible.I honestly haven’t run across them. Yet I’veonly run across the opportunists, who are tryingto catch people in a “ gotcha” and and run up thelegal fees. Um and, like I said, it’s uh, not goingaway. Um So uh.

I hope this has been helpful. Umi just show you a fabulous picture of me that’sbetter than what I look like in real life Yougot. My contact information um and I think we’regonna do questions at the end or if we don’t getto those I’m happy to talk with anybody offline umso with that, I will throw it back to you. Myles Myles Awesome, That’s great thanks, Shep uhso Anthony! I know you um.

You know we’ve heardabout what happens if you do get into legaltrouble um, but obviously there’s some things. Youcan do before it gets to that right. And I thinkthat’s kind of where you come in um. Can you tellus a little bit about sort of you know what thatlooks like how you can do that um? I know you’vebeen doing that for some of your clients for quitesome time um, but also maybe start with sort ofhow you’re connected to this personally, what gotyou into what sort of opened your eyes to this Anthony Yeah, absolutely um, thanks for the uhthat Myles um yeah.

Basically, around 10 years agoum, I got a call, I mean you know, first of allI’m an IT company, I’m a managed service. Provider.I got a call from a technician from Tennessee. Uhwho was completely blind and he was servicingsome clients in my area remotely and um neededsome help with physical, like going to the sitemoving, certain computers and so on, and I’m likeyou know. I was like taken aback like wait: how isa blind person even accessing a client’s computerremotely?

How can they see you know and at thetime I was at a party where my cousin was therewho’s completely blind. He went blind uh aroundthe 15 years ago. Now he was a school teacher, inthe Bronx and he picked up a mold. Spore went intoa coma in December. Woke up in January, completelyblack didn’t see a thing.

So I was talkingto him and so on, and I said you know anythingabout accessibility and he hits me on the sidehe says yeah. What do you think, of course, Sohe was explaining to me, you know how this, how thisgentleman worked with a screen reader and so onuh. From that point on, I was hooked and I learnedeverything I could about it. I actually was oneof the first to get a CPACC certificationfrom, the IAAP um, which is an internationalaccessibility group and um. You know went on fromthere and uh started.

You know help assisting himand um, you know doing a website, uh analysis, uheven, some design, work, uh, but basically uh you knowand from my client’s standpoint. I also went anddid a free check up of all my clients to make surethey. Are you know in compliance Because this issomething, which I’ve realized, can affect anyoneat this point and from an MSP standpoint as a I’m a you know, I have a company even though Idon’t deal with their websites and even theiruh, apps and so on, which you know these Thisthe laws cover both. You know the guidelines youhave to make sure you’re compliant in both withwebsites, as well as mobile, apps. Um even softwareuh, like we helped Intuit help their you knowQuickBooks, make it accessible so um.

You know, weI basically told them this mainly because it alsoallows me to say I did my due diligence to tellthem. This is a thing Because um I have otheruh MSPs. I’Ve heard of being brought in on theselawsuits, even though they don’t even deal with thewebsite It’S because they’re the technologicaladvisor they should have brought this to theclient’s attention. So that’s how I got startedwith this and um. You know been working with itsince, then Jon uh joined on several years backand.

He is also a CPACC certified, accessibilityexpert, um and uh. You know together. We’Ve beenyou know helping uh along, you know, helpingmany, you know large companies and small alike Myles. So how do you do that, Like what you knowso someone? You know we talked about it.

It’S notjust a snapshot in time. Right, you have to be ableto, you have to first kind of recognize you knoware you in compliance or not, but as Shep pointedout, you know it it takes. All of you know you couldhave your marketing person post a picture from aholiday party, and that could be you know all yourefforts can go out the window right. So how do youhow? Do you help people and help them prevent that?

Anthony Yeah well, the first thing um you know, Itell someone is that they need to make sure thatthey understand what this is and that they traintheir front-end people uh their people, answeringthe phones, um, the call you know any uh callcenters they might have and so on. They need to betrained on this to understand that somebody callsin Because that’s where the legal problems startis, when somebody doesn’t understand what’s goingon and they turn somebody off at the other end, butI tell them immediately. You need to take a look. Atyour website. Have your website designer takea.

Look at it from a ADA compliance standpoint.But. You need to put a user excuse me -anaccessibility statement up to show that atleast you’re, taking steps towards makingyour website compliant. That’S number one.You also need to make sure you do some basicmanual testing on the site.

Not just automated.Automated is only like 40 percent, accurate I meanyou could do that, but if you do it, you have tohave somebody that really knows how to read. Thosereports um but manual testing is really the wayto go and that’s how we do it. We’Ll go througha website and look at you know the user flows. Usethe journeys through the site and test them out, tomake sure things are working and if they aren’tum, you know we go ahead and tell you tell themhow to fix it.

Uh, We’ll give them examples and soon The other thing is once you’ve now compliantthe site is completely compliant. Now you have todo some ongoing checking because one blog postlike, you just said you put an image up if youdon’t tag that image you’re out of compliance.um. So you need to make sure whoever’s doingthat work, for you is just trained on it. Okay, so if they’re trained – and you know I putaccessible posts up um – and this is even true withFacebook and you know anything – you’re postingup – any content, um any kind of videos – you needto make sure that they’re put up properly so andJon can go into that a little Bit more, But the umwhole thing is is a uh.

You want to make sureyou’re working with um somebody that knows uhwhat they’re doing and the other piece of it. Tooif you’re, building a website. It’S important tobuild this in from the beginning. You bake it in-, because if you have to do it later, like Targetdid uh, not only did they get sued, but it cost them21 million to fix the site um because it was soyou, know well established to go back and fix. Itit takes a lot of money.

So you’re, better off umyou know baking it in from the beginning. It costyou hardly anything to do that if you’re buildinga site um And the other question I got uh on theuh to us was what you know. Are there any exempts? You know who’s exempt from this Pretty muchall websites, even if they’re, just content onlyum, you know not selling anything. You still haveto make sure that it’s accessible There’S onlytwo um uh, you know pretty much entities andthat’s like private clubs and um religiousorganizations, and the entities associated withthem and that’s because of the original ADAthose exemptions carried over Myles Gotcha.

o. You mentioned something I just want tocircle back to that was kind of interestingyou said you want to make sure you trainyour people, so they don’t get. You in trouble.Give me an example of what you’re referring to Anthony Absolutely yeah a while back uhwe had there was a hotel chain, uh that put up aad for a you, know: job placement and uh that ad wasnot accessible. So a person who was blind calleduh that hotel chain and was he said, look I’mhaving a problem accessing the site.

It’S notaccessible, I’m trying to use the screen. Readerthe person at the other end said: wait a minuteI, don’t understand what do you mean screenreader? The guy said: I’m blind, he says: wellwe can’t hire you. This is you know and it’slike two -double whammy. So that’s how youstart a lawsuit all right!

Is that you have to beempathetic uh, you know sympathetic with the personat. The other end, if that person was trainedand, said, listen, tell you what I’ll take theapplication over the phone, but just so you know weare addressing that issue and it’s going to be putover to our web development team immediately. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.Do that you defuse the situation, so it’s veryimportant from the front end that you haveuh personnel that are trained in this Myles Yeah and I didn’t even until youtold me that story, I didn’t even think about thatas a business owner myself and obviously somethingwe immediately are sharing with everyone on theteam, so they’re they’re aware of that becauseuh. That’S again, why we’re doing this today?

Ithink, this is something that’s pretty real andpretty serious, that’s out there and can have somevery positive and very negative uh ramificationsif, it’s not addressed with, But I would sayyou know, probably 75 percent of the businessowners. I talked to. If not more uh haven’t heard. Ofthis, don’t know anything about it, Anthony Yeah.Myles, Don’t even know it’s an issue Anthony And then here’s the other pieceof.

This too, is that um. You know, there’s the legalaspect of it to make sure you’re doing this right. This is the right thing to do: okay, because it’sjust, it’s just a good thing from social capitaluh. To do this. The third thing -this is a marketpeople.

Don’T realize that this is um like justin this country alone, there’s 25 people 25million people that are visually impaired.350 million people worldwide. There’S a marketall right and when you count in people with alldisabilities you’re over a billion people in theworld uh, what is it one out of five people? Havea disability of some sort? Eighty-Five percent ofthose people have gotten it after they were born.

So you know people that are aging maculardegeneration, glaucoma uh. What’S with oneof our financial clients uh, we told them thisthat most of their clientele was aging so it’svery important to do the right thing so that theycan maintain that clientele um. So you know it’s amarket, That’S another thing: how we approach it. Myles, Certainly Excellent, and I think that’sa, good uh and and thanks Anthony but Ithink, it’s a good segue uh over to you Jon.um.

You know obviously uh, as we talked aboutuh your name you’re, although your last nameis, probably uh, like smith elsewhere in the worldit’s, not a coincidence that uh you both have thesame last name, you are related. You probablyyou know you kind of came from the same uhsame story of how you got connected to this butuh Jon. You know what, if you kind of talk a littlebit more about about that piece. You know the umthe human side to it and the um, the marketplace.Jon Sure Unfortunately, for Anthony yes weare related because he is my uncle uh and wedid kind of come into this uh in the samemanner, And one of our relatives is blindand uh.

That relative was sort of the jumpingoff point for both of us into getting into thisum. So I am a CPACC certified accessibilityexpert, I’m also a Section 508 trusted testerfor the government to do accessibility, testingfor the government I’Ve been doing this forseveral years um, while uh Shepard is very goodwith. The litigation aspect and Anthony is goodwith the market, I’m good with the civil rightsaspect of this, and that it’s the right thing to doum for for our society um and for everybodywe’re, trying to market to we’re trying tosell stuff too we’re trying to inform uh. We wantto get to the biggest market base that we can.um And a great way of doing, that is to make ourwebsite accessible mobile applications as well -and some of the things that people tend to forgetis that accessibility in the digital environmentbenefits all users, It’S geared towards allusers and we often talk about blind folksusing screen readers.

The reason we do that isbecause, the screen reader as a technology anassistive technology is the most difficult tocode for to make accessible. So, basically, if wemeet that level of engagement as far as makinga website or mobile application accessible to ascreen reader, then we’ve covered about 90 percentof. All the issues that are on that website.uh. So that’s why we specifically talk about blindbut.

Realistically, accessibility is for all users.um A good uh analogy in the physical world. Iscurb cuts if we’re all familiar, how it slopesdown to the ground off of sidewalks um that wasinitially put in place for users of wheelchairsso. They could easily get onto the sidewalk andinto. The stores and so forth, but now we look who’s using them Delivery people with handtrucks and dollies people pushing baby carriages uh.

It seems to improve uh, improve the world foreverybody There are a lot of collateral benefitsis. What I call it. Additionally, uh uh Sheptouched on the the Web Content, AccessibilityGuidelines WCAG for short, that’s sort of thebenchmark um guidelines that we use uh to measureuh, mobile apps and websites against and basicallyall. These are are just the guidelines tosort of criteria to build your website. To.

or instance, images needing alternativetext, which describes what’s beingvisually, depicted in the image.A proper heading hierarchy, so that users whocannot see the page or see the fonts or colorsor bolded text. Things like that can get anidea of the organization of the structure. Ofthe page Anthony touched on videos uh as aswe’re moving on um, obviously YouTube is, is agiantly popular platform. We have other uh you knowvideo platforms as well.

Videos are becoming moreprevalent on the web and in mobile applicationsso. We need to ensure that the videos we posthave captions for deaf or hard of hearingaudiences have text transcripts for blind orlow vision, users or for people who simply preferto read text versus watch a video, perhaps peoplewith cognitive disabilities. We need to make surethat our websites. Mobile applications are usablewithout a mouse Strictly with the keyboard orkeyboard interface, For instance, for people whohave mobility impairments uh – maybe they don’thave fine motor control in order to use a mouse.Obviously, blind and low vision, users uh can’t usea mouse uh blind.

Certainly you can’t see where thecursor is so. The mouse is totally useless, so alarge portion of uh making a website accessibleis, is to make the uh all the interactiveelements and such usable with a keyboard only.oh and that’s um Anthony. Let me add one thing to that: Jon that was uh excellent um. One of the things aboutthis too, is that what Jon was saying touched uponit is that you know making something.

Accessibleum doesn’t mean you’re, losing the richness, ofthe website or the app It’S still graphicallyuh, you know um very robust. The thing about itthough is you’re, making it much easier to usenot just for people with disabilities, but foreveryone I mean personally, I don’t like using amouse. I mean I’m sighted, however, but I’d love totab through a form and be you know, do last name, first name and so on in the right order and asI’m tabbing through instead of it jumping me allover the creation it puts me in the logical order.So. It’S a benefit.

Closed captioning is a perfectexample of how that benefit the uh everyone isthat. If you’re in a bar and you’re looking upat the tv, you can see the closed, captioning Youmay not be able to hear what’s going on, but youcan see it Late at night. If it’s uh, you havea lot of kids and they’re sleeping um, youcould watch tv with it muted and still umyou know see what’s going on, So there are otherside benefits and the other piece of it people youknow make sure you understand is that when you’recreating a website And you make it accessibleyou’ve made it now. You have to remember Google’sblind You’Ve now made it accessible to Googleand from an SEO standpoint: you’re going toshoot through the roof, all right, um, so youby making it accessible. It’S helped you with SEO.

Myles Yeah, that’s a great point: that’s somethingI was going to actually bring up, is um. You knowI. We found that a little while back as we weredoing more video content um you lose so much valueyou know so. People put so much effort especiallynow in in the remote world, everyone’s living andwe’re, not doing in-person events, we’re doing tonsof videos and webinars and those kind of thingsand you lose so much of the value of those by notuh by not going through and having it transcribedso that Uh, you know all that content becomes textfor Google to absorb and read right, um soyeah, that’s a great that’s a great point.um uh.

Before we go on any further. We had a couplequestions come in, but I think it’s good to kind ofelaborate on these things. I don’t know: ifeveryone saw all of them, but um uh, you know thefirst one was about um uh, you already mentionedabout, hey just you know. If the website’s justinformational you’re, not selling anything -you know, does this apply. You mentioned it does.

ebsites on mobile devices. Applications software. Is there any do they get anyexclusions? Is it all kind of the same rules Anthony The only exclusions from a website app and so on is uh if you’re a religiousorganization and entities controlled by them or aprivate club, and that goes back to the originalADA all right back in’73. I think it is .

Jon The Rehab Act of 1973 Anthony Yeah, so because of that, that’s wherethe exemptions come in um, but other than that youcould have any kind of website could be one pageand. It has to be accessible, otherwise, you’reuh opening yourself lit- possible litigation.Myles Desktop app phone app app within yourwebsite. All that all has to comply. Yeah even likeI said even cust-.

Even software like QuickBooksfrom Intuit. They went ahead and made theirsoftware accessible to people with disabilitiesum took uh. You know us working with uh anothercompany six years um, but they got it going. Myles Gotcha And then sorry go ahead.Jon Now, if the website is strictly informationalyou also have to think well is everybody who wantsto receive that information able to It’snot just purchasing things it’s being ableto receive that information?

If only somebodywho is sighted can receive that informationthen, it’s not accessible, and it needs to be Anthony Yeah and again same holds true withlike social media, Facebook LinkedIn. If you’reposting anything up on there yet make sure thatthat image is described. Uh Facebook does try to dothis as best they can they’ve been instituting umtheir own. You know: content uh, accessibility, Jon Description, generator.Anthony Yeah, so it’s a good youknow when you’re posting something upyou know describe the image that you’re postinguh in detail.

The best you can and again itjust helps everyone. You know by doing that, Myles And that’s a great point. I didn’t eventhink about that, the the uh you know oftentimeswe, encouraging people um to drive traffic to ourall our you know: company owned social mediaum entities, but all those posts, everything umthat’s, basically gon na fall under thesame rules and guidelines. Then right, wellAnthony, Yeah, Myles, Interesting okayum, excellent And then um and we alreadytalked a little bit about yeah webinarsvideos. Everything should be should be text-based Anthony, Oh yeah, question here too “.

If we havean app like within the website like YouTube, doesthis help uh small entity like ours, address theissue of accessibility, ?” um. If you have like ifyou’re using YouTube, YouTube does auto-captionum, but beyond that you also want to look at thevideo. If there’s somebody like a person walkingalong the beach with a dog you sometimes youwant to you, have to put like what they call voiceover over that all right. The option of describingthat scene that a caption wouldn’t necessarily umthe other piece of it too.

If you have awebsite and uh, you have third party add-insand, I’m gon na. Let Jon handle this uh you areresponsible for that. Okay, so yeah Jon take that.Jon Yeah. Anything a author puts on theirwebsite is their responsibility, even if it’sa third party plugin such as an iframe of aYouTube, video or any other type of plugin.

f, it’s on your page you’reresponsible for it. You should bemaking sure that anything. You put on your pageis accessible and it’s it’s not that if you knowyou get sued and and the issue in questionwas say a YouTube plug-in or something likethat. It’S still on your page. It’S on your head, Myles, Excellent, okay, okay um!

As far as umyou know, one other question I I got was uhrelative to you know how can people um howcan people get started today like what are thefirst things? They should be thinking about doing Jon, Okay: well, there are severaldifferent automated tests, you can runagain. This is uh, something that should be doneby, somebody who is a little bit knowledgeableabout accessibility, but if you’re just startingout, you have no clue what to do. The automatedtests uh are pretty good, they’re only about40 accurate, but they will give you kind of asomewhat of an indication of what kind ofissues you have on your your website. Your page as most of them are page specific.

You test onepage at a time and they’ll also give you a littlebit of an explanation of what type of issuesare present and what you could do to fix. Them.Some of the things to keep an eye outon. Obviously, images we’ve touched on.If, you post an image and it’s in any wayinformative um.

That image needs to havealternative text embedded in the HTML code, so thatassistive technology such as a screen reader, could read what that text is and then speak thattext to a user. So they know what’s being visuallydepicted in the image Videos such as this onewould need closed, captioning or open captioning. The difference is open, captioning are presentall. The time closed. You can turn on and off.

text transcript for people who wouldprefer just a text-based kind of paragraphof. Instead of listening and watching the videothat also does help SEO a little bit as Googlecan’t. Listen to what we’re saying, but if there’sa text transcript it would be able to read it.Things like that Color contrast, isa, big issue, I run into all the time.Obviously that’ll affect mostly low visionuh and our aging population, as Anthonyum, who is a member of our aging population-, Said uh as a color contrast um, you have tomake sure that the text has sufficient contrastagainst this background, so that it’s easily seen Things like that Use of color as informationalthings such as you know, red to stop green as go or you should also have the word stop andthe word go Text is, is the most accessiblemedium uh in the digital world, so you’re going towant to make sure everything is Text-Based, as wellit has a text alternative So things like that -those are the things you can go.

Look at right. Now.Like, I said: heading structure is a big one. Sothat users can understand the organizationalstructure of the page. Link text: you don’t wantvague link text such as “, here” or “ click, here” ormore, things like that.

You want to make sure theactual link text themselves are quite descriptiveof where the destination is or what they’re to beused for Making sure that your form fields, suchas your “ first name” “, last name” “ address” ,” phone number” have proper labels and makingsure. The labels are visual, uh permanently Notthat, you know you’re using a placeholder, textas a label and then, as soon as you start typingin that that label is now gone, you don’t knowwhat. That field is Obviously, that’ll affectpeople with short-term memory loss as wellas people with visual impairments, So these areall just little things you could check right nowand. Then I I do like to recommend awebsite called WAVe w-a-v-e dot. Organd you can, Google it it’ll it’ll pop up.

Andall you do. Is you put in the URL of a pageyou want to test? You know You hit the submitbutton and an automated report will generateand. You can kind of check out your own page thereand see what what issues you’re dealing with.Anthony.

I just put that in the chat umthe URL for that, if anybody’s interested.Myles Excellent, that’s great Very terrific Yeah, the uh, the color contrast thing. I can. I cancertainly appreciate, as I get get a little olderand uh start to see how difficult that can befor sure um uh Shep, just to kind of swing. Backto you again, You know you had a interesting umuh analogy relative to the market and you knowuh the consumers, opening up to other consumersuh.

You had an analogy about someone trying tobuy some sporting goods um. You know a little onon that and you sort of how you thought, aboutit versus how others were thinking about it.Shep Yeah. Actually it ties into something thatAnthony said before so I I had a I was in Ithink. I had written something about this or wasinforming a bunch of clients.

I I first found outabout this about uh two years ago, where a clientof mine sent forwarded me an email on Fridaysaying, hey. I just got this letter. Can we talkabout this Monday morning and, I said sure, andI looked at it, it was demand letter, saying, thewebsite wasn’t compliant under the ADA I didn’tknow anything about it. I barely knew what the ADAwas frankly at that time, um Learned about it, Wewe fixed everything, and so I I learned a wholelot really fast um and then I started tellingmy other clients about this because it was youknow. It was clear to me that if this client gotit other clients were going to get it and oneclient, you know a major retailer of differentkinds of sporting goods, And so I talked to thegeneral counsel and said: hey, you should look intothis and make sure your website complies.

Um andthe response I got was well. We don’t really sellproducts to blind people anyway, so I don’treally care about this, Which I mean ..I was stunned. You know that he would have thatreaction.

You know on on a host of levels, The mostridiculous of which was. Why isn’t a visuallyimpaired person going to buy this? I meaneven, if they’re not going to use your equipmentmaybe they’re buying it as a present for somebodyyou, know. Wholly apart from whether it’s theright thing to do the wrong thing to do just from a business standpoint, you know I Ithink Anthony was making that point earlier. Youknow, it’s crazy!

Not to do this because, as theseguys told you there’s a huge market out thereso, you know it’s good for all these collateralreasons And you know the idea that that peopledon’t realize that is, is amazing to me. It doescost some money to bring the website up to speedbut again I I had one client at one point: wherethey thought they’d fixed everything. It wasn’tquite fixed and I said well, what’s the hold up, They said well, it’s gon na cost us seven thousanddollars to do this. Last fix whatever it was, and so i said, pay the money and fix it. I saidyou’re going to spend a lot more on me right, awayand, even if I can beat this somebody else, isgoing to sue you the next day and somebody elseis going to sue you.

The next day after that, ifyou don’t fix it. That’S why speed in fixing thisis critical, because, unlike other situations, if aclient of mine is sued by Siam Sarwar as you sawin my PowerPoint okay and I can settle that. Casesomebody else can sue the company tomorrow and theday after that, the day after that, if they don’tfix it It’S you can’t get a release. That’Sgonna relieve you! Well, I paid this one personeven.

If they were a class action, you knowyou still the next day, you’re continuing tocreate these violations so you’re, always at riskuntil. You bring the website up to speed. Sorryi went a little beyond your question: Myles Myles! No! That’S!

Okay! No, that was good thoughthat’s good Again, I don’t think the wholepurpose of this is, I think, the awareness pieceof it that you know this is something that’sout there that uh can have a big impact. Andi think most people aren’t, as you mentioned, youknow like I said you were talking about this twoyears ago and I I thought my thought was: oh wellthe, big companies are getting targeted right, youknow, that’s of course, and now seeing um you knowsmall media businesses getting targeted. Becauseyou know similar to cyber crime right, the the bigcompanies have the defense, the smaller companiesdon’t And, I think they’re realizing they’d ratherget, a bunch of small to medium businesses. Thanthan go after the big guys, now.

ight everybody’s, fair game, so Shep Yeah, I mean I really. I can’t emphasizeenough speed in addressing the issue when you getsued is critical, Not not just becauseyou’re, going to cut off the legal feesbut. If you have somebody that understands thisthat reaches out to the plaintiff’s councilright away, and the plaintiffs council realize okaythis is somebody that understands how this thisgame works. They’Re going to settle, much cheaper, much quicker, Because the plaintiff’s lawyerdoesn’t want to fight these cases, they just wantto. You know rack up.

Some legal fees settle andmove on to the next one. If they see that you’regoing to be a real pain, then they’re like okaywell, there’s plenty of there’s still plentyof low hanging fruit out there. This isn’t oneof them I’ll. Just let this one go and move on tothe next person and and a lot of that starts withjust. Addressing it right away right up front You know: What’s it going to take to make thisgo away and then you pay less than that Myles.

Actually, that’s a great segue tosomething. I want to um get some clarification. On.Anthony you mentioned, you know yeah, you shouldyou can have some. You know.

Even if you’renot there have some text on your websitethat, you know talks about that kind of gives youa. I don’t want to say out of jail card, but helpsyou know as a disclaimer Can you just tell me alittle bit about what you’re, referring to there Anthony Yeah? Basically an accessibility statementsomething, that’s at the footer of your pageum. That uh shows that you are at least addressingyou know. You know there’s issues, but you are umaddressing it and it’s kind of like uh.

It’S likehaving a sign out in front of your house that saysyou have an alarm. Basically, that a crook is goingto go to the next house, But it also means thatany, drive-by attorneys, whatever they’re going toskip you knowing that you know about this, already.And there’s a good chance that you know they mayuh, not um. You know bother you in that case, Soit’s. A good thing to have, but also it can’t be anempty statement you actually have to do thingsto, take steps to fix the site.

All right, You can’tjust throw an accessibility statement up there. But it does show at least you’re taking proactivesteps It does show that you have a contact, phonenumber, an email address and the person atthe other end that online. If somebody doesget, you know a call, it is trained on uh handlingthat situation, So um yeah, that’s uh, that’s it’simportant! For you to put something like thatup there. Myles Excellent, that’s great um.

h! We have a couple more questions, actuallythat’s popped in too uh, one for you, Shep Uh Does general liability insurancecover any of this? Does it tie into this Shep? Well, of course, I’ll give you theanswer we always give, which is I don’t knowbecause insurance policies, they say wecover everything and then they carve away 98of it with all the exceptions. Um, I thinkit’s very unlikely that that you’re goingto have any coverage for this.

Just undera general policy. Um and again I think youknow. If you have somebody, that’s handling yourwebsite, that’s the place to get it, But you I’m sure you can get some kind of insurance forthis. But really better than the insurance isjust fixing it up front and making sure youknow you set it up. You have somebody thatcertifies that it’s compliant and again you testit That’S that’s really better than the insurancebut.

I really doubt it’s in your general liabilitypolicy. Unfortunately, you have to read through youknow that much stuff in order to figure that out, Myles Yeah and I do know from talking to wework, with quite a few insurance companies and umI’ve – talked to them about this and a lot of timesthey. You know insurance base sees okay there’san opportunity to ensure there’s a new verticalthere’s, a new space we’ve seen it in cyber right. You used to have one cyber security, uh insurancepolicy and now there’s like nine different flavorsyou can get to cover different things. Right and uhI was asking about this and they said yeahit’s kind of a it’s kind of a lose-lose forthe insurance companies.

Right, Like this isnot, an attractive space for them. They don’twant to give you coverage for this. They won’tlike, you said they want you just to fix. Itit’S not like something that happens by accidentthere are remediations and ways you can dealwith it and uh. It doesn’t look like from thecompanies insurance companies.

I’Ve talked tothat. This is something they really see as anopportunity zone for them. So to your point Shep my gut is: this is probably oneof the things they carve out right. Shep Yeah, I mean I don’t know how they couldreally calculate the risk, which is all they do: allday everyday and figure out: okay, well, this manypeople get sued and the premiums will cover thatum in situations and they probably would wantyou to make certain representations that somebodyelse has Certified it’s compliant or you’ve donecertain things And if you’re doing those thingsthen do you really need the insurance So Myles Absolutely um, and then we also gotanother question about a link to a site, witha good accessibility statement. So I guess mymy uh.

You know my thought on that is youknow Jon and Anthony both posted two oneuh. Basically, you know the the w3.org um site, What we’ll do is um we’ll include that when thisis done we’ll send a you know, follow-up emailto, everybody and we’ll include um obviouslywe’ll include everyone’s contact. Information ifpeople have further for questions or concernsabout. This But we can also include some ofthat in there, so people will get that andum when I first heard about it.

That was the firstthing. You know Shep, and I talked about this andfirst thing I did was call my marketing companyand, say: “, hey, !” and luckily he’s very much awareof. It um He’s actually the one that introduced meto, Anthony and Jon um, and you know he’s like “ yep, nope you’re. All set .

‘ It’s in there, you’re goodwe’re on the ball on this so and again, luckilyhe was on the ball with this because uh I wastotally uh, I guess no pun intended. I wasblind to it right. It was something I just didn’teven even know about So I’m sure there’s a lotof other business owners out there like that umso uh, as we as we kind of come to the end of thetime. Here I just want to see. Is there any anyother uh any other things that you know Anthony, Jon or Shep, that you want to kind ofadd to this that we haven’t covered?

Yet I think we got through all the questions here. Jon. I just want to stress the civil rights aspectof it and uh how this affects human lives. Ummaking the website accessible, it may very wellallow a person with a disability to gainindependence Um, A quick anecdote, uh isI. I worked on a website for a grocery deliveryservice and then a few months after we had fixedit up and and made sure it was accessible.

I gota phone call from a woman who happened to be blindand. She was in tears and she was telling me thatmyself and my team who worked on this particulargrocery delivery service website, uh that sheis now able to be independent, uh and ordergroceries for herself. She does not need to botherother people to drive her to the grocery store, um and ask them what what price is is thisparticular item or where can I locate this uh Now she’s, totally independent as far as gettinggetting, her groceries for her daily life, That’sthe kind of Stuff I deal with I know Shepardis very, very knowledgeable, with litigation. Anthony is very knowledgeable with marketing Thehuman aspect is what I really stress, and it’s whatI’m most proud of when I work on this stuff. Soit does affect flesh and blood people That’ssomething.

To remember that’s why we do this Myles Yeah. It’S awesome! It’S great story, anda good great point too. Certainly, Um Excellent.Okay great so um yeah, just to kind of wrap up Imean that the purpose and what we’re reallytrying to hit here, um uh, you know, was aboutum the legal aspect of it.

You know what whatcan happen. You know what your risks are if youdon’t pay attention to this right away. Hopefullyanyone listening to this, you know, you’re goingto, take action right away. If you don’t andat least make sure you’re in a good spacebut. You know, obviously you wantto uh, you want to avoid having toyou know, pay off people for for frivolous, lawsuitsright um.

So that’s number one. Uh Number twohopefully Anthony, gave you a good understandingof, the technical impact of it um as well asuh the search engine, optimization factor and umthe the market that you’re opening up to sell to.You know it’s a big number, 350 million worldwide- correct Anthony. If I get that right, All rightso, it’s a big big number there and then hopefullyJon also kind of gave you the the uh human sideto it. You know it is the right thing to do.

Um, andum, there’s a reason why these things are in placeand um it. It you know at first hand I kind ofthought, the same thing like. Oh, this is sillyit’s a website. It’S not a place of of uh of workso to say, or it’s not they’re, not going into astorefront but uh. I guess since since last Marchone thing we’ve certainly learned is uh.

We live alot of our lives online for sure Um And uh thisis, probably gon na, become more and more serious asas uh. We continue to do more and more uh stuffremote and online, so um. So with that just wantedto kind of wrap up. Thank you, uh Shep, uh, Anthony and Jon for for being online. Today, Going throughthis um, I think it was uh.

We covered a lot ofgreat content. Hopefully people get a lot of uhvaluable uh information out of it. Andhopefully everyone will make sure that they’retaking care of themselves and their businessesas soon as possible with this So uh with that. Thank you. Everyone Take care Jon Thank you.

,

As found on YouTube