Roughly every 1 in 20 people in the United States are either deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing impairment is one of the disabilities protected under the ADA, or American Disabilities Act, which means your business may be legally subject to taking the necessary actions to include impaired communities both at your business and online. This - with the rise in rich content like video being used on the web for sales and marketing purposes - includes ADA video compliance. Here, the custom enterprise software creation experts at Savvior are here to break down what ADA video compliance is and what it means for your business.
What is ADA Video Compliance?
Making the Online World More Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
Americans with Disabilities Act is a US civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. First enacted in 1990, protections are created in the areas of employment, government services, public transit, telecommunication, and more. As of the early 2000s, ADA compliance also applies to web content that serves the functions outlined in the Act. In other words, businesses in a variety of sectors need to make sure that their business’s presence on the web - ranging from customer service to ADA Compliant Video - is non discriminatory of people with disabilities.
Not all businesses are required to comply with the ADA, but it’s important to evaluate whether or not you business is required to comply. There are several sections under which a business falls under that requires ADA compliance, including
Title I - Employers: applies to businesses with 15 or more employees
Title II - State and Local Government Services: applies to all government activities regardless of the existence of government funding
Title III - Public Accommodations: applies to places open to the public, commercial facilities, private location that offer courses and examinations, and private entities that provide transportation
Title IV - Transportation: applies to public transportation like city busses
Title V - Telecommunications: requires phone services to have 24/7 assistive relay services
If your business falls under any of these categories, you must make sure that your website and web content is ADA compliant. We’ll get to the steps you can take to reach ADA compliance shortly, but first, we want to outline the risks your business takes for being non-compliant.
Risks of Non-Compliance
As a Potential Violation to Civil Rights Laws, Non-Compliance is a Big Deal
If your business falls under any of the aforementioned categories, it’s imperative that your website and its content - in this case, specifically video content - is ADA compliant. Videos without proper compliance can leave the company open to a lawsuit in violation with the ADA - which, in and of itself, is not only costly for your business, but not good from a PR standpoint.
It’s easy to shrug your shoulders and say your business won’t be affected by not adhering to ADA video compliance standards. That’s exactly what Harvard and MIT did just before advocates filed federal lawsuits against the universities for their lack of ADA-compliant closed captioning. The class action lawsuit estimates a total exclusion of 48 million people with disabilities, leading to the Universities later taking proper steps to creating ADA compliant videos.
So what can your business do to prevent legal action and bad PR causes by violations of ADA video compliance laws? Let’s take a closer look.
What You Can do to Make Your Content ADA Compliant
Where to Look for Help in Becoming ADA Compliant
The primary step in creating ADA compliant video includes the use of closed captioning, allowing hearing impaired persons to be included in the messages shared by your company. Large video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo have features that make your videos accessible, but their features are often insufficient in providing the intelligible, accurate transcription of your video This means that relying solely on these features to reach ADA compliance is ineffective and still leaves your business at risk for not complying to ADA video compliance standard.
If you plan on making your videos ADA compliant - which we highly suggest - here are some tips for making your video compliant:
Time your captions to synchronize with the audio
Do not allow captions to cover necessary graphics in the video
Used Helvetica Medium for easy readership
Cap your captions at 32 character per line
Include music, laughter, and sound effect descriptions
Denote various speakers with different font colors or callouts
These steps, depending on the length and volume of your web content, can be time consuming for your business, especially if you’ve outsourced your video content creation and it was not in your contract to create ADA compliant videos.
One option you have is outsourcing to make these videos ADA compliant. Savvior - the custom enterprise software and compliance experts of Pittsburgh - is able to help you make your website and its content ADA compliant. With newly-ADA compliant video, not only will your business remove the risk of legal action being taken, but you’ll have the ability to share that your business is completely ADA compliant: which, though legal, is a really good look for any company from a PR standpoint.
For more information on how Savvior can help your business’s site and content become ADA compliant, request a quote. We’ll work with you to make sure your business is doing its part in ensuring inclusion of individuals across the web and open new doors for your business to expand.