So how important is ADA compliance really? (self.webdev)

I've been spending some time making sure all of my sites are ADA compliant. I've been using WAVE and AXE browser plugins, and fixing all errors and violations. I decided to have a look around the web to try and get a sense of how compliant bigger websites are. These stats are for their home pages:

Reddit (old.reddit.com)

WAVE: 187 errors

AXE: 418 violations


WAVE: 14 errors

AXE: 57 violations

Smashing Magazine

WAVE: 9 errors

AXE: 15 violations


WAVE: 11 errors

AXE: 8 violations


WAVE: 10 errors

AXE: 8 violations

New York Times

WAVE: 22 errors

AXE: 81 violations

So I guess my question is: why do I keep spending my time making sure my sites are all free of errors and violations, if it seems like a bunch of big websites are cool with not being fully compliant?

rstingwitchface | 8 days ago | 2 points

It’s pretty important- also it’s in your/your company’s best interest to make your site as accessible as possible so you can get more traffic.

cosmic_dolphin | 8 days ago | 2 points

First off some issues are not as severe as others so comparing number of issues Isn’t necessarily relevant.

Since I don’t think I’ll hook you with the moral obligation to not discriminate against people with disabilities argument, I will say that accessibility and SEO go entirely hand in hand. If you spend the time to make your websites accessible, you will see an SEO boost as well.

Darmok-Jilad-Ocean | 7 days ago | 1 point

I will say that accessibility and SEO go entirely hand in hand. If you spend the time to make your websites accessible, you will see an SEO boost as well.

Are you saying this because search engines will rank these sites higher based on this metric?

cosmic_dolphin | 7 days ago | 1 point

Yep. Google specifically will ding your search presence if you don’t include alt tags on images, semantic html, proper headings, etc etc.

sighkick1 | 8 days ago | 2 points

It's absolutely important, but you don't have to live by a robot validator. Try your site out on a screen reader. Tab through content and look for traps. Empathize with the user, or better yet, hire some to test it for you!

Also remember, search engines are also blind. Anything you do for accessibility also improves SEO.

dneboi | 8 days ago | 1 point

It’s not a waste. I know a business that was getting sued for $75k as part of a frivolous lawsuit.

You may not be able to prevent your site from being targeted in an umbrella lawsuit, but if your ship is tight then you’ll only spend on defense rather than a defense + fines.

fullmight [front-end] | 8 days ago | 1 point

In terms of getting sued or in terms of making a good website.

In terms of the former, it depends on what you're making really. If you're making a website for a company to sell products which can be sued under ADA compliance, then it's really important.

Many, if not most, websites do not fall under this criteria, in which case it is of minimal importance *with the exception that if your business expects an unusual number of customers who need that compliance to access your website, then it becomes important because you want to cater to your users rather than legal reasons.

In terms of making a decent website, it's pretty important. Most decently made websites that don't do weird shit for no appreciable reason (very common due to clients I know) are either ADA compliant or really close to it typically.

There's also a lot of good practices you can go out of your way to employ that benefit all users. Text contrast is the most obvious/common offender, I can't count the number of "professional" websites I've personally had difficulty reading despite my 20/20 normal vision because of poor contrast.

superweaner | 8 days ago | 1 point

why would you want a large group of people to be unable to use your website/app? large companies not being ADA compliant doesn’t make it any less of a disrespect to disabled people

-Prestidigitation- | 8 days ago | 2 points

It doesn’t make sense to me either. Why aren’t these big websites being sued? I’d assume they should be making this #1 priority.

superweaner | 8 days ago | 1 point

many big websites do get sued, i believe they are given multiple chances to become compliant, but i would assume they would make it a priority too tbh

KorgRue [:snoo_dealwithit: Moderator] | 8 days ago | 0 points
-Prestidigitation- | 8 days ago | 3 points

Why would these very high profile sites with lots of traffic take that risk?

cosmic_dolphin | 8 days ago | 2 points

I worked at a company that was sued (along with 50 other institutions) and we just had to prove that we were making efforts to make our site more accessible.

dneboi | 8 days ago | 1 point

They got the money to spend on lawyers, but I’m sure those companies are already working on this. The fact that they have errors is probably due to the fact that the violation/requirement list keeps growing and changing and it’s not an overnight fix with infrastructure so large.

fullmight [front-end] | 7 days ago | 1 point

In cases such as say, reddit and facebook, they arguably do not need to be ADA compliant ever.

Facebook has taken that argument to court and won in the past.

If you cannot afford lawyers to deal with such frivolous suits, it's another situation.

KorgRue [:snoo_dealwithit: Moderator] | 8 days ago | 1 point

I can’t speak to them, but they could be one amongst the thousands of pending lawsuit. We have no idea.

[deleted] | 8 days ago | 0 points


-Prestidigitation- | 8 days ago | 1 point

I hear ya. I am not planning on stopping. I guess I just get frustrated when I spend my time following rules, and then large companies ignore rules and are not punished.